8.Method for detecting step-shaped wear on contact strips on pantograph heads

  • In order to prevent damage to overhead contact lines, a method for detecting step-shaped wear on contact strips on pantographs has been developed. In addition, a data acquisition device suited to this method has also been developed.
  • RTRI then drafted some technical recommendations for railway operators on the practical application of the system.

Step-shaped wear on pantograph head contact strips can cause serious damage to the pantograph and catenary system. A method for detecting step-shaped wear has therefore been developed. In this method, step-shaped wear can be detected by measuring the axial forces acting on steady arms installed on three adjacent supporting points (Fig.1). This method has few constraints with regards to where it can be applied. In addition, a compact light-weight and power saving data acquisition device consisting of a dynamic strain amplifier and data telemetry system were also developed (Table 1, Fig. 2) to suit this new detection method. Fig.3 shows an example of the application of the new method and the device to a commercial railway line. When the system detects certain specific features in the forces exerted on the steady arm, the system immediately triggers and alert to the transport control centre etc.

Fig.1 Axial force fluctuation acting on steady arm (result of field tests)
Fig. 2 Example of the method applied in practice
Fig.3 Example of developed data acquisition
Table 1 Specifications of the developed data acquisition equipment