Further Reading

If you enjoyed the book, you might want to explore the topic of overhead line and railway electrification further. The following books have been invaluable reference material in writing the book.

Contact Lines for Electric Railways: Planning, Design, Implementation, Maintenance by Kiessling, Puschmann, Schmieder, Schneider (3rd Edition, 2016, Publicis)

ISBN: 9783895784200

The industry standard text for mainline electrification. Fearsomely comprehensive, and – between print runs at least – fearsomely expensive, it nevertheless has an unparalleled technical depth, and crucially, contains the maths, geometry and circuit diagrams necessary to actually design overhead line. Covers both electrical and mechanical issues in equal weight. Biased towards German practice, with some practice from Turkey and Japan. Can be a hard read at times, due to multiple authors and translation from German.

Get it if you: are a practicing or would-like-to-be-practising electrification engineer and/or enjoy heavy maths.

Guide to Earthing and Bonding for AC Electrified Railways by Dr R White, A McDonald (1st Edition, 2022, The Institution of Engineering Technology)

ISBN-13: 978-1-83953-645-8

The industry standard text for earthing and bonding of AC railways. Chapters covering earthing and bonding of electrical traction system assets and other lineside assets and structures, the AC traction electrification distribution system, Mass of Earth as part of the traction return system, traction return requirements and circuit configuration, protection against electric shock, assets not forming part of the traction return, lightning protection, and AC/DC interfaces.┬áHas far more depth than my book can cover, written by two of the leading industry practicioners. Easy to follow even if you aren’t a hardcore electrical engineer.

Get it if you: are a practicing or would-like-to-be-practising earthing and bonding engineer and need to understand the principles behind the practice.

Electric Traction by A. T. Dover (3rd Edition, 1929, Pitman)

A study of the state of the art in both mainline and tram electrification during the early years of the system; heavily skewed towards electrical theory and practice, and electric rolling stock design. Some detail on mechanical systems. Although out of print, the book is happily available as a free download.

Get it if you: want to know more about the development of electrification systems and power engineering theory and practice, in the 1920s

Electric Railways 1880 – 1990 by Michael C. Duffy ( 2003, IEE)

ISBN: 9780852968055

A thorough survey of electric railway development from the earliest days of the London Underground to modern electrified mainline trains. Although this book covers all uses of electricity in railways – including electrical signalling and rolling stock design – there are standalone chapters dedicated to the development of both tram and mainline electrification systems across the world.

Get it if you: want an in-depth study of the development of electrification, and are interested in electric railway systems more generally.

Electric Trains in Britain by B. K. Cooper (1979, Ian Allan)

ISBN: 9780711009721

An approachable study of the development of mainline electrification in the UK; starting with the DC era, through the emergence of AC schemes and ending just as power electronics begin to take over. Covers overhead and conductor rail systems; mostly focused on rolling stock, with plenty of pictures and diagrams.

Get it if you: want to understand how the current UK systems came into being, and like pictures of electric trains.

The Age of the Electric Train: Electric Trains in Britain Since 1883 by J. C. Gillham (1988, Ian Allan)

ISBN: 9780711013926

Details the history of the invention and evolution of electric railways in the UK, examining their development from the early inventions in the late 19th century to the most modern systems of today. Covers AC and DC, overhead and conductor rail. Also mostly focused on rolling stock, light on text but plenty of pictures and diagrams.

Get it if you: want a pictorial history of UK electrification.

Current Collection for Tramway & Trolleybus Systems by G.E. Baddeley and E.R. Oakley (1975)

ISBN: 0 903479 04 4

This self-published book explains the technical detail of guided tram and trolley OLE and collector equipment, with a focus on traditional systems in the UK. It also covers the development of the system and some international practice.

Get if if you: want to understand how trolley OLE works in detail, but don’t need information on post-1975 practice.