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IEEE to publish standards regarding catenary systems

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Standards Association (IEEE-SA) Standards Board approved the start of work on five new standards addressing insulation, grounding, maintenance, current collectors and support structures for overhead contact systems used in heavy and light rail.

"Standard for DC Overhead Contact System Insulation Requirements for Transit Systems" (IEEE P1626) would provide minimum insulation standards to hazards and improve life-cycle costs.

"Standard for Grounding Practices for DC Electrification Overhead Contact Systems, Including Application of Lightning Arrestors for Transit Systems" (IEEE P1627) would outline uniform practices to be followed when grounding these systems and the proper use of lightning arrestors. Through this standard, IEEE-SA aims to protect passengers, personnel and equipment; reduce maintenance and initial costs; and improve performance.

Another standard, "Recommended Practice for Maintenance for DC Overhead Contact Systems for Transit Systems" (IEEE P1628), would offer guidelines regarding inspection, testing and other maintenance practices for these power sources.

Meanwhile, "Standard for Performance of DC Overhead Current Collectors for Transit Vehicles" (IEEE 1629), would address minimum performance requirements for current collectors to control hazards, improve performance and reliability, and reduce life-cycle cost by addressing oscillation, arcing, electrical transients, all-weather operation, wire-collector interface, and dewirement and entanglement hazards.

Finally, "Standard for Supporting Structures for DC Overhead Contact Systems for Transit Systems" (IEEE P1630), would provide a standard for minimum structural requirements for overhead contact system supports, and would include topics such as loading, safety factors and deflection.

Additional information on the IEEE standards can be found at its Web site,

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/3/2002