ELI5: Explain Like I'm 5

traction power network

Do you remember playing with toy cars and making them move by winding them up? Well, just like that, trains also need power to move. But, instead of a little wind-up key, they need something called electricity.

So, where does this electricity come from? It comes from a big network called the Traction Power Network (TPN). This network is made up of lots of different parts, like power plants, transformers, and lots of cables that carry this electricity from one place to another.

The power plants are like big factories that make electricity by burning things like coal, oil or natural gas, or by using renewable sources of energy like solar or wind power. Once the power is made, it is sent to transformers which take the raw electricity and turn it into usable voltage. This voltage is then sent through cables to substations, which are like little relay stations that distribute power to different parts of the network.

Finally, the power is sent through cables to something called the third rail. This rail is like a metal bar that runs parallel to the train tracks and is usually located a little bit away from the track. When the train is moving and needs electricity to keep going, it takes this electricity from the third rail and uses it to power its wheels.

So, in short, the Traction Power Network is like a big web made up of different parts that all work together to provide electricity to the trains so they can move.