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Osterheld, C. M. (ed.) / The Wisconsin engineer
Volume 17, Number 7 (April 1913)

Ganz, Albert F.
[Electrolysis from stray electric currents],   pp. [293]-318


Page 317


Electrolysis from Stray Electric Cutrrents
feeders proportioned for equal drop from radially disposed
points in the track system located at some distance from the
power station. By this method the rails are drained of current
and any desired part of the voltage drop can be removed from
the rails and transferred to insulated conductors from which
currents cannot leak. In Europe, such radial insulated return
feeders for bringing current back from the rails to the power
station are made necessary by regulations limiting the allow-
able drop in voltage in the rails, and in most cases such installa-
tions of insulated return feeders have substantially removed
serious trouble from electrolysis. This system of minimizing
stray currents by means of radially disposed insulated return
feeders has also been installed in a number of American cities,
and the method is gradually being recognized as by far the best
for minimizing stray currents. This system in fact removes the
root of the trouble, by draining the rails of current and remov-
ing voltage drop from the rails and thus preventing substantial
leakage of current through ground, and is therefore correct in
principle. The railroad companies frequently object to this
system claiming that it is prohibitively expensive. This is
certainly not the case, as is evidenced by the fact that the
method is in general use in Europe and in a number of Ameri-
can cities today. The fact is that in many electric railways
there is practically no installation of negative feeders and the
railway companies are often not willing to install even a mod-
erate amount of return feeder copper. A mistake is often made
in confusing the radial insulated return feeder system with
paralleling the rails with copper.
  In the decree recently filed in the celebrated Peoria case, the
railway company is enjoined and restrained from injuring the
property of the water company by electric current escaping
from the rails or structures of the railway company. No par-
ticular method for preventing the escape of current is pre-
scribed in the decree, because the court in its decision has al-
ready stated that a court does not have the power to prescribe
-by injunction any specific system, and that this power resides
only with legislative bodies.
  It is the author's firm conviction that such remedial measures
as pipe drainage or insulating pipe joints should be used if
317


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