The shore way to power industry

Feb 15, 2012 | Electrical & electronics

Based in Salford, Conductix-Wampfler supplies specialised shore supply equipment to the international rail sector, with projects including metro networks spanning countries from Africa to Canada

Conductix-Wampfler helps to power worldwide industry by delivering mobile energy supply and data transmission systems. Over the last ten years, the firm (part of the global Conductix-Wampfler Group) has been supplying its specialised range of shore supply equipment to the international rail sector; and continues to see major growth in this industry. In the last year, for example, it has signed contracts to deliver Shoresafe products for metro networks in India, China and Africa. Further projects taking place this year involve two more metro systems in Canada.

Supplying power

Crawford Scholes, project manager, takes up the story: “Railway systems using ground level, third or fourth rail, electrical conductor rails, do not utilise these conductor rails within the train maintenance depot for safety reasons. However, if an electrical supply is required for trains in the depot, it can be connected to a special ‘shore supply’ cable.”

Adaptability is a recurring theme in the Conductix-Wampfler portfolio, with individually switched, interlocked shore supply systems from the Shoresafe range complementing and enhancing the traditional non-switched stinger systems.

Operational efficiency

The company’s product range includes an enhanced shore supply system using Pendant Switchable Trolleys (PST). The trolleys roll on an overhead beam allowing the train to be driven into and out of the depot. The PSTs are interlocked so the plug cannot be made live unless it is securely located within a train socket – a safety benefit of this mechanism is that idle plugs are not left live, regardless of the status of the overhead conductor bars. Plugs on existing systems can usually be adapted for interlocking, without rolling stock modification. In addition, the PST is locally controlled, utilising a suspended pendant pushbutton unit and control electronics to manage the switching of a trolley mounted contactor. This arrangement helps to enhance operational efficiency in the depot by allowing personnel to switch the power supply close to their point of work.

This particular system has been used in international metro projects in Bangalore, Algiers and Shenzhen, and the company is set to install this system in upcoming projects in Canada through deals with the Toronto Transit Commission and Societe Transport Montreal. According to Scholes, the Montreal contract will see 42 PSTs installed at the Youville Depot. In Toronto, the firm has begun discussions on the third phase of a project to extend and upgrade Wilson Yard – which would take its total tally of PSTs installed at the site to 50.

Also available from the company is a more standard shore supply or ‘Stinger’ system. An economical and simple solution, this follows the traditional method of providing power to a train berthed in a maintenance depot through an insulated conductor rail and a dropper lead attached to a mobile trolley where the plug is always live when the conductor is energised.

Developing solutions

A further product is the Smart Switchable Trolley (SST), a solution specifically designed for use on 4th rail applications. This includes additional benefits of earth fault detection, traction voltage monitoring and train detection.

The supply systems come with a power lead separation feature which separates if the train leaves the depot with the shore supply still connected – minimising potential damage. Systems can also be designed to interface or interlock with other depot equipment.

Also available from the company are customised control, emergency stop and switching and indication systems.

The company’s core expertise lies in the development, production, consulting and installation of tailor-made solutions for mobile machinery. In fact products range from festoon systems, conductor rails, energy guiding chains and motorised cable reels, to slip ring assemblies and contactless power transmission systems.



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