third' rail'

1. a rail laid parallel and adjacent to the running rails of an electrified railroad to provide electric current to the motors of a car or locomotive through contact shoes.
2. an additional running rail laid on the same ties as the two regular rails of a railroad track to provide a multigauge capability.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

third quartilethird-rate
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