Don’t try this yourself. Really, don’t. It’s incredibly dangerous, not to mention illegal.
But, well, these guys did. Russian YouTube user kreosan has created a video where he shows how you can charge a phone from rail tracks. In the video, which was uploaded last year, he shows how there is fluctuating voltage between the rails. He first uses this to power a light bulb and a speaker, before then charging a Nokia phone.
In the video, the voltage is about 2.5 to 3 volts, enough to supply a small amount of power to the phone. However, on Reddit where the video was posted yesterday, some users suggested that doing this can cause problems, such as creating an apparent fault on the line, which can mean that other trains are stopped or held.
charge a phone from the rail tracks
Kreosan, though, insists that his actions were taken with safety in mind. “All the actions in this video were performed under the supervision of an experienced railway worker,” he wrote. “There was nothing damaged during the shooting.”