Rail passengers can travel in safety and comfort

Louise Smyth

Stadler Rail, headquartered in the Swiss town of Bussnang, provides reliable, electrical multiple unit trains, light rail and locomotives customised to customer needs. More than 6,000 Stadler rail vehicles bring the latest technology to the rails worldwide, allowing millions of passengers to travel safely and comfortably.

The low-floor design of the new trains for the Appenzell Railway offers more comfort to all passengers, which is important to the railway, just as it is to Stadler. Making use of its innovation, passion and flexibility as well as its knowledge of the respective local conditions, Stadler sets out to put the best possible vehicle on the rails for its customers. This is where the aspirations meet those of Stäubli Electrical Connectors.

In railway operations, maintenance must be completed as quickly as possible to minimise rolling stock downtime. Therefore, pluggable connections are ideal for efficient maintenance. Durability and low-loss energy transmission for high currents, maximum shock, impact and vibration resistance and highest robustness – even in extreme climatic conditions – are required for all components in railway technology.

For Appenzell Railway the connectors used by Stadler must transmit the required power over the acceleration sections after the halts and the tailor-made cable assemblies have to withstand even tight curves and steep hills.

The solution

Following their discussions with Stäubli Electrical Connectors, Stadler decided the time had come to compare the existing screwed connections between the car and the drivetrain on the bogies with the compact and space-saving MPCs with excellent power transmission characteristics. Stäubli was able to prove that the MPC could meet the high expectation by means of targeted test procedures, which were tailored to the specific requirements of Stadler and the Appenzell Railway. The route and elevation profile of the track in Appenzell were taken into account in the design and tests of the connection solution, including the customised cable assembly.

The expert advice, the excellent supply availability and, above all, the close collaboration during the installation and construction phases of the new connectors were convincing for Stadler. The company says that the electrical tests carried out specifically for the Appenzell Railway project prove the excellent suitability under the required conditions. This ensures that the company can offer its customers the safety and operational warranty they need. The MPC allows for speedy handling and contact reliability during maintenance periods, which brings the entire train back into operation and back on the rails faster.

The increasing global demand for public transportation solutions in urban areas can be seen in Stadler Rail’s workshops. Modern, comfortable, safe and efficient rail vehicle technology is developed and customised here. In addition to the five new train compositions for the Appenzell Railway, further trains in various designs are available for other customers in the assembly halls. Stäubli’s MPC solutions will also be integrated here to ensure a maintenance-friendly and secure traction interface.

Michael Schmitt is with Stäubli Electrical Connectors.

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