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sure, but that has nothing to do with 16.7 vs 50.  The railway could choose to use a single phase at 50Hz.
by njh on Wed Oct 3rd, 2012 at 09:57:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I wrote about the benefit of a separate railway system after giving the indeed separate, historical reason for 16.7 Hz. The deeper connection is that (1) the idea of a separate railway grid didn't arose because people foresaw its benefits but because the historical need for 16.7 Hz necessitated it, (2) connection to the public grid (with resulting savings in infrastructure investment for the railway) was the main selling point of the 50 ÍHz system at the time of its introduction. If we started today and we'd have a government willing to start major public investment with a long-term view on security of supply (rather than a short-term view on budget cuts), a 50 Hz or 100 Hz single-phase sytem would obviously make more sense, but we already have thousands of locomotives and substations (and power lines) not compatible with that.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Oct 3rd, 2012 at 12:37:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ok, that makes sense, thanks.  high voltage DC might make more sense today, say 50kV.  DC would avoid the transmission line phase shifts and would have the built in cathodic protection we discussed a while ago.  Of course then you need dc-dc converters everywhere, which is still not quite more economical than transformers for large amounts of power.
by njh on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 11:45:17 AM EST
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