Stray Current Corrosion in Electrified Rail Systems

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Despite a relatively mature technology for its control, corrosion caused by stray current from electrified rapid-transit systems costs the United States approximately $500 million annually. Part of that cost is the result of corrosion of the electrified rapid-transit system itself, and part is the result of corrosion on neighboring infrastructure components, such as buried pipelines and cables. Detailed costs to either the transit systems or the neighboring infrastructure are not available, and, therefore, this limited study was undertaken for the Infrastructure Technology Institute (1) to assess the scope of stray-current corrosion on the electrified-rail systems based upon information in the literature and from interviews with selected transit-system operators, and (2) to determine whether new or additional corrosion monitoring or mitigation techniques are needed. The literature review was conducted through the Infrastructure Technology Institute Library Services Program, the Transportation Library, and the Seeley G. Mudd Library for Science and Engineering, all at Northwestern University. The interviews were conducted with seven rapid-transit operators, which included the following: (l) Chicago Transit Authority, (2) Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corporation, (3) Metro-North Commuter Railroad Metropolitan Transportation Authority, (4) New York City Transit Authority Metropolitan Transportation Authority, (5) San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District, (6) Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and (7) West Virginia University-Morgantown Personal Rapid Transit System.

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  • 08/14/2017
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