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Track circuit

Device that signals the presence of trains, or of only one axis of any rolling stock, on a specific section of track. It is equivalent to an electrical circuit whose conductors are the two track rails. The track circuit is used for the preliminary assessment of the state of freedom of the route in a section of track. This allows the forwarding of a train on a section of track, both at the station and in full line. The track circuit has two ends (side). In one end there is the electric current source, on the other a “receiving” device (called relay) of the same electric current. Normally a relay, in the station cabin, is energized, if its coils, which constitute it, are traversed by the “receiving” current. This situation means that the stretch of line is free. When the relay is not energized, because the “receiving” current is not there, it means that the line segment is busy. There is no current between the two rails, if there is the presence of a train’s axis. The track circuit is the fundamental device for creating a block section

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