The 'sparks effect' is the railway man's term for the success of modern suburban electrical systems in the UK where demand has increased by 30 per cent during the first year of operation. The author examines the possibilities of this effect leading to main-line electrification. The advantages of electrification are studied. Fuel costs are less for electric systems and will probably not increase so rapidly as those for diesel trains. Maintenance costs are also lower for electric systems. However, electrification of primary routes cannot be justified by the usual test discount rate and would need a higher level of railway investment. A major problem would be for traction equipment and its associated items, but this could be overcome if there was sufficient demand. Several reasons for the need for an early decision on electrification are put forward. It is suggested that an all-electric version of the HST would be successful, and the apt could be reserved for routes with unsmoothed permanent way curves.

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    IPC Electrical Electronic Press Limited

    Dorset House Stamford Street
    London SE1 9LU,   England 
  • Authors:
    • Moss, J
  • Publication Date: 1978-9-29

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Photos; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 16-17
  • Serial:
    • Volume: 203
    • Issue Number: 12
    • Publisher: Reed Business Information, Limited
    • ISSN: 0013-4384

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00188326
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport and Road Research Laboratory (TRRL)
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 27 1979 12:00AM