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).
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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.
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

third′ rail′


n.
a rail in an electrified railroad that provides current to a car or locomotive.
[1865–70, Amer.]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
Translations
strømskinne
References in periodicals archive ?
It will showcase how hydrogen can be used to power a train that retains the ability to operate across existing electric routes, on either 3rd rail or 25kV overhead power.
I was able to see the only preserved ex South Tyneside 3rd rail electric multiple unit which ran between Newcastle Central and South Shields from 1955 to 1963.
"Surely common sense should prevail and the people who made this decision should think again and support the guards in their quest to keep the travelling public safe on our electric 3rd rail system on Merseyside.
The 3rd rail package contains a proposal for a Regulation that would establish minimum mandatory clauses in terms of service quality to be included in transport contracts which might otherwise be declared null and void.