Stray current corrosion - what is it?

Stray current corrosion is a phenomenon that basically only occurs in the field of DC systems. This is the case, for example, with electric trains. How to cause stray current corrosion and how to avoid it, read in this post.

Formation of stray current corrosion

If a pole of the voltage without insulator leads into the ground, it can lead to a ground-carrying current flow between this pole and adjacent metallic objects. The stresses in the soil then cause an electrochemical effect on metals.

The reversal of this effect is used inter alia during active corrosion protection or during electrolysis rust removal. In the case of stray current corrosion, however, the effect is exactly the opposite, leading to corrosion instead of preventing it.


  • Switching to alternating current, where possible
  • Placement of grounding electrodes where there are no metallic objects nearby
  • electrical connection of all nearby parts

Tips & Tricks

In many cases remedies are very uneconomical. The damage caused by stray current corrosion is often much lower than the cost of the remedial measures.

Video Board: Corrosion and Stray Current Mitigation for Transit Rail Systems