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A concept of an integrated and distributed inverter for switched reluctance machines is introduced. The application at hand is an outer-rotor direct drive designed for railway traction applications. A five-phase switched reluctance machine was developed and is used to demonstrate the function of the integrated and distributed inverter. The distribution is achieved by supplying each phase coil with its own modular inverter. Each inverter module is placed evenly around the end of the stator stack next to its dedicated coil. This increases the redundancy of the drive significantly. The likelihood of phase-to-phase faults is reduced, because no overlapping end-turns are necessary. Also, the integration of machine and inverter is simplified, because the semiconductors can be evenly distributed around the machine. The concept reduces the amount of terminals between drive and vehicle to communication, power supply, and cooling, independent of the number of machine phases. With the integrated and distributed inverter new control strategies can be developed to influence machine vibration and radiated noise. In this paper, the design of the prototype, the direct torque control of the five-phase machine, and the behavior in the case of a fault inside a module is analyzed.