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The Stud Contact System is a once obsolete ground-level power supply system for electric trams. Studs were set in the road at intervals and connected to a buried electric cable by switches operated by magnets on the tramcars. Current was collected from the studs by a "skate" or "ski collector" under the tramcar. The system was popular for a while in the early 1900s but soon fell out of favour because of the unreliability of the magnetic switches. However, the new tram system in Bordeaux, Francemarker has resurrected the system in the form of alimentation par sol for aesthetic reasons in the city centre.

Manufacturers included:

  • Dolter
  • Diatto
  • Lorain (Brown Surface Contact System)


The Diatto stud system was the most common in Francemarker, with over 20,000 studs in use. It was invented by an Italian, Alfredo Diatto of Turinmarker, and was first installed in Toursmarker in 1899, followed by four of the Parismarker tramway companies in 1900. Whether Alfredo Diatto was connected with the Diatto car company is not known .

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