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Overhead power systems for operation of high-speed trains in Sweden


  • Professor (Project leader)
  • Dr. Lars Drugge
  • Professor
  • Dr. Per-Anders Jönsson

Sources of funding

  • Banverket/Trafikverket


The overhead power system has been identified as one of the critical areas when increasing train speed. Several questions cannot be answered today:
- Which performance do pantograph, catenary and traction system need to have - especially in case of multiple units?
- Does the maximum speed need to be limited in case of more than one pantograph with short distance between each other? The issue does not exist in the same way for other European high-speed traffic since the trainsets and thus the distance between pantographs are significantly longer e.g. in Germany or France.
- Could active pantographs work at the desired speed without changing the catenary system?

Research Direction

Within the project, the dynamic interaction pantograph/catenary will be studied mainly by use of computer simulation. Existing measurement results shall be used as long as possible. During the on-track tests in the summer of 2008 further measurements were carried out.

The criterion for satisfying interaction is the variation in the contact force. Therefore, the contact force will be studied in the first place. A verification of the existing programmes that shall be used in the project will be done and necessary improvements will be implemented. After that, parameter studies will be started.

Type of catenary resp. pantograph, speed, number of and distance between pantographs are examples of parameters that will be examined. Finally, the potential improvement of active pantographs will be evaluated.


  • Bucca G, Carnevale M, Collina A, Facchinetti A, Drugge L, Jönsson P-A, Stichel S: Differentiation of pantograph's preloads as a mean to improve multiple collection and speed up existing lines. Proceedings of the 22nd International Symposium on Dynamics of Vehicles on Roads and Tracks, IAVSD'11, Manchester, August 14-19, 2011.