High-performance trains need efficient infrastructure
Rail transportation is very dependent on the quality of the infrastructure that supports it, and that includes cables and cabling systems for telecommunications and energy. Modern high-speed trains demand cables with different characteristics in terms of bandwidth, safety, electromagnetic immunity and resistance.
A definite trend is interoperability, which allows trains to move easily across borders and even continents. Here, too, cables must comply with the new consolidated ERTMS/ETCS standards which are progressively integrating GSM-R radio technologies for train control, while continuing to rely on older route control systems (relay interlocking) for safety and redundancy.
Indeed, safety has become a prime concern for the world’s rail operators, and there is a demand not only for more reliable operating systems, but also for materials with improved fire-performance characteristics, especially in tunnels, stations and public areas. Urban mass transit, subways, fully-automated metros, light rail suburban lines and trams are experiencing substantial growth, especially in Asia. Each rail mode has its own cable needs.
What railway operators expect of a cable manufacturer
- Range of high-quality cables from one supplier
- Mastery of energy, data and radio-based technologies
- Installation for mainline, mass transit, tunnels, right-of-ways, etc.
- Enhanced fire performance for public and infrastructure safety
- Interoperability, open standards, and worldwide compliance
- Cable efficiency, compactness, lightness, and resistance
- Low costs, minimum maintenance, easy upgrades