Furrer+Frey have always believed that there is more to great customer service than just technical expertise. Successful design involves listening to and working closely with customers to develop solutions that enhance safety, efficiency and the reliability of railway systems.
Our innovative moveable overhead conductor-rail system (MOCS) not only ensures that safe maintenance can be carried out on rail vehicles by enabling safe and free access to roof-mounted equipment in depots, but it can also be adapted for situations like lifting and swing bridges, temporary works and tunnel refurbishments.
Our MOCS has a proven track record of safety and reliability on a wide range of networks and voltages around the world. It is already operational in more than 125 installations in over 20 countries.
Based on our Rigid Overhead Conductor-rail System (ROCS), it can be moved away from the track as required, switched off and earthed, enabling obstruction-free access to the infrastructure. As the system is rigid in nature, it can also be simply isolated from adjoining electrified sections. It is always accompanied by an integrated control and communication system that provides a proven safe and efficient way of controlling various electrical and mechanical interfaces linked to the overhead line.
Making depots safer
Vehicle inspection and maintenance tracks in depots and workshops are often electrified to allow uninterrupted train movement or require diesel/battery operated shunting locomotives. If these tracks are electrified, the overhead system can cause obstructions for staff who need to access the vehicles’ roofs, with associated safety hazards similar to those associated with electrified lines above operational tracks.
Over the past two decades we have developed and supplied our MOCS for depot infrastructure around the world, delivering a positive impact on both efficiency and safety.
Supported on a set of motorised cantilevers, once the overhead is switched off and earthed, the MOCS allows the conductor-rail to be moved away from the track using geared motors. The cantilevers can be moved away in various positions such as:
• Pivoting about the depot column, so the cantilever can rotate from an across-track position to along-track and vice versa.
• Vertically-mounted supports can pivot upwards so the conductor-rail is raised away to safe height and earthed.
• A scissor arrangement of supports can be used to retract the conductor-rail to a safe height. The system can be lowered to working height when required.This provides safe and obstruction-free access to vehicles’ roofs for maintenance.
This flexibility for fixing in multiple arrangements offers great advantages to suit individual depot requirements.
The transition from the conventional overhead line to overhead conductor-rail is done through a transition bar and an in-line overlap with arcing horn. The in-line overlap acts as a separator between the fixed transition bar and moveable conductor-rail system.
Be it depot installation or a bridge system, to ensure further safety, the MOCS is always earthed when it is secured away from its normal operating position.
In depot and workshop use, the vehicle is moved inside via a conventional catenary system OLE. Once inside the depot, the power is supplied by the Furrer+Frey MOCS. Power to the overhead line is then cut using a switch and the voltage transformer carries out a check resulting in a safe indication light. The overhead is then earthed and the status change is indicated by a signal to lower the pantograph, and in some cases by a running light as well. The MOCS is then moved by the control system to its parking position.
Visual and acoustic signals are provided to give advance warning that moving and switching procedures are about to take place. Through a control cabinet, safety electrical interlocks monitor all the interfacing services such as doors to roof working platforms, and also release or lock up cranes or similar equipment.
The MOCS is equally effective for installation under temporary works or over sections where temporary works are being undertaken.
For example, a moveable conductor-rail system was installed in the Berghau tunnel (Germany), where it was pushed to its retracted position to allow tunnel refurbishment work to be undertaken in possessions, but still allowing electric trains to run outside of possessions.
Article originally featured in May 2018 TAUT (965).