Multiple unit

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The term multiple unit or MU is used to describe a self-propelling train unit capable of coupling with other units of the same or similar type and still being controlled from one driving cab. The term is commonly used to denote passenger trainsets that consist of more than one carriage, but single self-propelling carriages, or railcars, can be referred to as multiple units if capable of operating with other units.

Multiple units are of three main types:


History and description

Multiple-unit operation was made possible by the development of multiple-unit train control by the American inventor Franklin J. Sprague, apparently,[clarification needed] even though electric multiple-unit trains had been deployed on the Liverpool Overhead Railway four years before his "invention". This allowed electrically-powered rapid transit trains to be operated from a single driving position.

The first successful test of an MU on a working rapid-transit system was in Chicago, on the South Side "L", now part of the CTA Green Line.

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