Wiley Encyklopedia of Electrical and Electronics Engineering

zn 1Supplement 1

John G. Webster, Editor

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering University of Wisconsin-Madison


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A Wiley-Interscience Publication

John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

New York – Chichester – Weinheim – Brisbane – Singapore – Toronto

ISBN-0471-39052-6 (Set)

ISBN-0471-35895-9 (Supp 1)



Ground Transportation Systems

Adam Szeląg & Leszek Mierzejewski, Warsaw University of Technology, Warsaw, Poland


Ground transportation systems (GTSe) move people and goods over special ground or underground routes. A GTS includes not only the means of transport, but also the entire infrastructure necessary for providing it.

The great variety of GTSs in use may be classified as follows:

  • Road systems (buses, guided buses, trolleybuses, automobiles)
  • Rail systems (railroads, street cars, subways, light rail)
  • Nonconventional systems (maglev, people movers, automatic guided transport, monorails, vehicles with gyroscopes, industrial transport)

This paper is concerned with electrical means of ground transport, so the main focus is on the operation of transport systems with electrically propelled vehicles – electric vehicles (EVs). When power to vehicles is called an electrified (network) transport systems; when the source of energy is installed in the vehicles, the systems is called autonomous. Electrified transport systems can be divided according the of power supply. AC or DC, as shown in Tables 1 and 2. EVs supplied by an electric transport power supply system (ETPSS) collect electrical energy from an overhead catenary (railroads, light rail, streetcars [one pole contact wire; see Fig.1,), trolleybuses [two separated negative and positive overhead wires; see Fig.2(a)]) or from a third rail (railroads in the UK and Berlin, subways), mounted on isolators, through a shoe-type current collector [Fig.2(b)] placed beside or below the EV. When energy is delivered to a guideway rather than to the EV (as in maglev), no catenary is required (Fig.3). Nonconventional systems are usually electrified with a special power supply network.


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