third rail


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third rail

n.
1. The rail that supplies the high voltage to power a train on an electric railway.
2. A subject that tends to be avoided because of its offensive or controversial nature: "Social Security, the 'third rail' of American politics" (Charles Stein).

third rail

n
1. (Railways) an extra rail from which an electric train picks up current by means of a sliding collector to feed power to its motors
2. politics
a. a cause or topic that is considered extremely dangerous for a person to support or comment on
b. (as modifier): a third-rail issue.

third′ rail′


n.
a rail in an electrified railroad that provides current to a car or locomotive.
[1865–70, Amer.]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.third rail - a rail through which electric current is supplied to an electric locomotive
rails, runway, rail, track - a bar or pair of parallel bars of rolled steel making the railway along which railroad cars or other vehicles can roll
Translations
strømskinne
References in periodicals archive ?
Rehearsals were underway for The Grand Paradise, the latest theatrical adventure by dance-theater troupe Third Rail Projects.
Contract notice: A framework agreement for the removal of graffiti, tags acid on stainless steel surfaces, stickers and other wild postings and access to the metro and pre-metro stib and in the ways of the area in station (walls after the third rail, docks edges and walls of the sub-docks).
An alternative means of electrification, however, would be to use the dc third rail system, as has been used successfully in the south for years.
Within these pages two to three years ago, I suggested that the Valley Lines be electrified on the third rail system so that the redundant D stock could be used on them, but to make them diesel powered seems to me to be just as good.
The collision between the train and a sport utility vehicle on a rail crossing in Westchester County peeled the third rail off the tracks.
A statement from supporters group the Third Rail read: "On behalf of the Third Rail, we would like to publicly denounce City Football Group's and Frank Lampard's decision to extend his loan to Manchester City until the end of the Premier League season.
The new owners, The Third Rail Restaurant, has renovated the interior and outdoor dining space and have already re-opened.
A drunk man died after urinating on an electrified third rail on a New York subway line.
The pair, who narrowly missed the electified third rail, were both taken to hospital as a precaution for minor injuries.
Extend the third rail from Ellesmere Port to Helsby.
The severance tax on gas, a minuscule three-tenths of a cent per thousand cubic feet, was the third rail of Arkansas politics.
Fortunately, no one was injured in this incident, but there was a real risk of injury to people using the railway or to the offenders themselves as this is a line with third rail electrification.