INTENSIVE testing of a pilot section of overhead conductor bar installed instead of a conventional contact wire was undertaken in Austria during February.

Approval has now been received for ÖBB trains to run under the bar at speeds of up to 200 km/h, and 250 km/h trials are planned for August.

Furrer & Frey and its Austrian agent HC-Electric developed the high speed bar profile from its existing designs, which are in service in depots and tunnels and on bridges with line speeds up to 140 km/h. Designed for use with a range of different pantograph configurations, the supports, expansion elements and overlaps at turnouts have been adapted for higher speeds, and particular attention has been paid to the transition between conventional catenary and the bar.

ÖBB hopes that using conductor bar will reduce maintenance costs, and offer the possibility of boring smaller diameter tunnels for future projects, in particular in single track bores.

Furrer & Frey, Switzerland

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