This study discusses the occurrence of lightning, its effects on railroad signal equipment, and protection of such equipment from lightning damage, with special attention to known protective techniques which are employed in a variety of situations in the power, communications, and railroad industries. A brief review is offered of the causes of lightning and other surges, followed by an extensive treatment of the means by which lightning and power-line transients induce surges and over-voltages in signalling circuits. Specific topics include the effects of the direct stroke current, the collapsing electric field when the stroke occurs, inductive coupling, and the effects of ground currents in the earth. A survey of protective devices and techniques currently in use for specific types of equipment is presented, including categorization of arrestors by type and application. Preferred lightning protection practices in railroad signalling are examined and related to practices in other fields. The problem of lightning protection is addressed from an overall systems viewpoint, encompassing development and testing of protective systems and design of systems, so that they can more easily be protected. Recommendations for future research are made.

  • Record URL:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Lowell Technological Institute is under contract to Transportation Systems Center.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Lowell Technological Institute Research Foundation

    450 Aiken Street
    Lowell, MA  United States  01854
  • Authors:
    • Holmstrom, F Ross
  • Publication Date: 1975-12

Media Info

  • Features: Figures;
  • Pagination: 106 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00131042
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Federal Railroad Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FRA-OR&D-76-129 Final Rpt.
  • Contract Numbers: DOT-TSC-589
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Apr 21 1976 12:00AM