mtuandrew wrote: ↑Sun Jun 23, 2019 10:22 am
Ok, thanks, that answers my question about whether the US is the only country still using legacy power. Guess those two will be buying heavy transformer-equipped power for a while too.
Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, Germany are all 15kv 16 2/3rd.
All other AC systems out there are 50 or 60Hz, save for Amtrak's 25hz. I think there's an Austrian one that's 25hz, but only a few kM long. Might be three phase, too.
I have a nagging suspicion that at least in some instances, notably Germany, the transformer is a space heater that has the side effect of dropping voltages. I've seen pictures of the Class 103's main transformer. I can't accept that that thing was rated anywhere near what's claimed of it.
The stuff works though. *shrug*
But, the European legacy systems are not only huge (Germany at one time had even nukes that generated native 16hz traction power), but plenty of 'legacy' equipment that can't change frequencies. I saw some DB Class 111s at Stuttgart last October. Very interesting noises as they pull out... SBB and BLS still runs some antique stuff, SJ might too.
I've yet to hear a good reason beyond the sunk cost fallacy why the NEC can't be at least incrementally converted to 60Hz traction power (and yes I've read that 'paper' from someone at Amtrak back in the late 70's - was a cute argument except that all modern AC rail equipment runs a unity power factor, rendering the guy's excesses to retain 25hz moot).
I'd be curious what the cost savings by not having to absorb the losses in frequency conversion alone would be...