A brief account of electric traction systems – Dave Saunders

On 27th February Dave Saunders presented his comprehensive talk about the development of electric traction systems on the world’s railways

In a fascinating talk Dave began with examining the benefits and disbenefits of electric railways beginning with Richard Trevithick and his steam engine in 1804 and noted that surprisingly the first attempt at electric traction was only 30 years later when Thomas Davenport ran a battery powered model locomotive in 1834 in USA

The various methods, choice of power supplies, voltages, batteries etc were recounted and the reasons for their development.

Dave finished his talk with a picture of the GWR class 230 and pondered what the future may hold for electric railways