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European Optimised Pantograph Catenary interface


Europac will gather major European railway stakeholders around a research project on vehicle-infrastructure interaction through the pantograph-catenary contact. The project aims at enhancing interoperability between pantographs and catenaries all over Europe, decreasing the number of incidents related to this system, and reducing maintenance costs by improving preventive maintenance and diminishing corrective maintenance.

On that purpose, Europac will develop a comprehensive system composed of a joint interoperable software, an on-board monitoring system and a track-side monitoring station. The Europac software is designed to predict the interoperability between any present and future pantograph and catenary. Moreover, it is intended to take into account up to now unaddressed effects of deteriorated conditions such as extreme temperatures, cross-winds, wear or defects in devices.

The on-board monitoring system aims at detecting defects in a catenary, identifying their origins and evaluating their seriousness. The goal of the track-side monitoring station is to evaluate both compatibility and quality of a pantograph coming into a network. The two systems will combine human-like expert-systems with real-time analyses.

Europac's contribution to integration of European railways is manifold:
- At the regulation level, it will help refining interoperability specifications and standards and defining new ones.
- At the industrial level, it will help manufacturers to comply with interoperability requirements while reducing their development costs.
- At the operational level, it will allow railway operators and infrastructure managers to both increase interoperability and reinforce reliability of their rolling stocks and infrastructures.

Increased productivity along with economies of scale allowed by interoperability will radically improve competitiveness of the railway transport, thus reversing the trend in favour to this environmentally-friendly mode of transport.

Call for proposal

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EU contribution
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Participants (14)