Re: OT, 16-2/3 Hz for Railway and Industrial use.

Max Wyss

The cost of converting the Swiss rail electrification fro 16.7 to 50 Hz
would be huge. As long as the existing system is well maintained.
savings of the change would not be worth the cost. As older parts of
the system wear out they probably could be converted piecemeal.
Well, there are two components concerning a hypothetical conversion in
Switzerland. First, the frequency conversion. This would essentially
require replacement or rewiring of a considerable number of units. Not
cheap, but feasible...

However, the second component is way more costlier... the industry
standard for 50Hz electrification is 25kV, whereas the industry
standard for 16.7Hz is 15kV. This considerably higher voltage requires
extended clearances, particularly in tunnels or under bridges.
Converting the infrastructure to accomodate 25kV would cost really
serious money...

Héléna would like NJT. Because of the voltage and frequency changes on
some through lines, NJT has standardized on locomotive hauled sets. The
locos can change the transformer settings while in motion but the MU
cars have to be changed in the shop. Putting the equipment in the MU
cars to allow changing each car's transformer in motion is too
complicated, takes too much room and is too expensive.
Interesting reasoning. However, looking at the SBB Class 562 EMUs,
which routinely switch between 16.7Hz and 50Hz in Basel. This shows
that it is possible to build EMUs which can handle either system.


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