German Unity Transport Project 8

 Nuremberg – Erfurt – Halle/Leipzig – Berlin

Overhead line

Not only the track and trains need to be prepared to reach a future top speed of 300 km/h on the Ebensfeld-Erfurt line, but the corresponding energy supply and distribution also need to be guaranteed. In order to transmit electrical energy to the pantograph of a traction unit, a high-performance class Re330 overhead line is being used on the main tracks of the approximately 107 km-long section.

The overhead line will have a contact wire height of 5.30 m above the running surface of the rail. The standard system height (distance between the catenary and the contact wire) will be 1.8 m on open track, falling to 1.1 m in tunnels. The system is designed for use with the "Europantograph".

The relief loops will be wired with a class Re100 overhead line.

Installation of the contact wire (Photo: DB AG)

The overhead line will be operated at 15 kV and a frequency of 16.7 Hz, supplying both trains and lineside installations.

Energy will be fed into the overhead line from a 110 kV high-tension grid through three newly-designed substations and one substation to be extended. A special foundation-laying method has been developed for erecting the masts. The "large diameter bored foundation method" permits low-vibration insertion of piles. Concrete masts and double-T steel support masts (Peiner masts) are predominantly used on open track, whilst steel masts are used on bridges.

As masts cannot be erected in the 18 tunnels on the section, special king posts will be provided to support the overhead line. The king posts will be mounted on anchor rails concreted into the tunnel vault.

The overhead line, consisting of the contact wire, catenary, droppers, stitch wires and power connectors will be suspended with forces of 27 kN (contact wire) and 21 kN (catenary). Each running line will have a continuous return line, to improve the return current circuit.

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