Connectors for rail applications need to be extremely robust, but also easy to install and maintain

HARTING has developed new solutions for rail vehicles which focus on the safety and durability of the entire infrastructure. These three new HARTING products are part of a complete system of cabling that extends from the vehicle roof to the underfloor distribution.

The Han® HPR (High Pressure Railway) VarioShell is a housing system which has been specially designed for jumper applications. Thanks to a circumferential internal seal and mounting frame, the two-piece housing/hood achieves an IP69K rating. As the cover is removable, the housing/hood can be installed from both inside and outside the rail vehicle. This also simplifies servicing and maintenance because the housing cover can be opened and faulty conductors or contacts replaced without disconnecting all the connections.

The contours of the VarioShell allow dirt deposits to slide off while channels guide water away from the housing screws so that rust does not form. Special curvatures on the upper side ensure that ice and snow slide off without exerting pressure on the wall and housing, increasing service life.

The VarioShell is an open system that also houses mounting frames, cable managers and shielding plates to route and hold cables with different diameters. It can be used as a surface or panel mounted housing and is a robust alternative to distribution boxes for installation on the roof, outer wall or bogie.

The Han® HPR HPTC (High Performance Transformer Connector) has been developed to meet all the requirements of the rail market. Hoods, housings and cable glands have been optimised for outdoor use, ensuring the connection between pantograph, transformer and train busbar remains stable over the long term. Existing contours on the transformer can be reused, meaning design changes are unnecessary.

This product has been specially designed for simple assembly, maximum safety and to minimise the number of components used. A crimped contact on the cable side is inserted into a three-part, touch-proof insulating body and there is a cable gland that protects against dust and moisture whilst also forming part of the shielding, absorbing residual currents and transferring them to the housing.

The hoods and housings are metallically contacting on all sides, which means the cover and underside are connected across the entire contact surface. This is a new development, being the first transformer connector that is specially designed for shielded connections. Collecting and discharging residual currents is achieved with the Han® HPR HPTC P800 thanks to its two separate contact zones. It is directly connected to the flange housing by a surface on the underside and there is a thread on the upper side for a potential grounding, which dissipates the remaining residual currents.

Neither shrinking nor taping are required in the assembly process and the interfaces are quick to prepare; simply crimp the contacts, insert the insulating body with shield contact into the housing, close the cover, and the cable side is ready. Two coding elements in the panel mounted housing enable 16 different possible combinations and one connector is sufficient for the transformer connection, meaning there is no risk of confusion.

The Han® HPR TrainPowerLine (TPL) replaces existing solutions such as UIC, power or Y-distributors for train busbars. It is tailored to modern trains running in a network and offers weight advantages of up to ten kilograms per rail vehicle compared to previous standards. As a result, very little space is required to reliably supply all the electrical equipment and systems of the train.

Following requests from customers, the application was simplified considerably. A uniform solution replaces the many variants that were previously required for busbar construction and the number of parts used has been significantly reduced. At the same time, safety is top priority: male and female contacts are designed to be touch-proof and there are ground potentials on the top and bottom of the housing. The contours of the TPL also effectively remove dirt and ice to the sides.

Previous interfaces for the underfloor were often hard-wired. The TPL is designed so that all connection points are now pluggable. The housings are equipped with Han® HC Modular high-current contacts that transmit power up to 800 A / 5100 V DC / 3000 V AC. The housing is based on the Han® HPR design and is made of corrosion-resistant aluminium die castings. Therefore, the TPL is ideally suited for use in harsh environmental conditions and outdoor applications.

This interface is a uniform connector design for the entire underbody distribution system of a train. Its advantages include shorter installation times, more economical use of materials, weight reduction and standardised assembly processes.

As well as product systems, HARTING also offer customised solutions for rail vehicle technology. This supports the trend of progressive modularisation, whereby modern rail vehicles are often built at different production sites. This modular approach offers many advantages to manufacturers such as time savings both in the assembly and commissioning of rail vehicles.

With specialisms including cable assemblies, box builds and inter-car jumpers for the rail market, HARTING use their experience to design and create custom solutions that meet your exact requirements. All customised products are built and tested at their fully IRIS-certified manufacturing facility in Northampton and are based on market-leading connectors from the extensive HARTING range, including M12 and Han-Modular®.

Inter-car jumpers are designed to run connections between train carriages, including roof or underfloor systems, ensuring a reliable supply of data, signals and power along the train. The Han-Modular® series allows you to create a versatile solution by combining individual inserts for different transmission media into standard-sized industrial connector housings. The series offers over a hundred different inserts, enabling a wide range of customisable combination options.

For example, as the demand for data communications in rail vehicles increases, powerful network and data interfaces are required to power information systems and fast, reliable internet access. The Han® Gigabit module enables Cat. 7A transmission in the inter-vehicle area and delivers higher frequency bandwidth for the flow of data. The interface is also shock and vibration resistant according to EN 61373 and shielded against electromagnetic interference (EMC).

For the connection of WLAN equipment, X-coded M12 PushPull connectors enclosed in a box build are the ideal solution. As space for components becomes increasingly scarce in rail vehicles, the M12 PushPull offers handling, time and reliability benefits. The two sections are clicked into place by hand, a tool-free installation method which simplifies tricky installations and means the assembly density can be significantly increased, helping to save valuable space.

No matter what the degree of complexity, HARTING have the capacity to produce bespoke, project-specific solutions to suit your needs, including installing components, efficiently routing cable harnesses and fabrication. To further assist you, their design team can create a 3D CAD visualisation of your build beforehand to ensure absolute accuracy before manufacturing begins.

To learn more about HARTING’s range of rail products and solutions, get in touch via the contact information below.

Tel: 01604 827500