Overhead Wire Thickness (FDS 4.0)

The DTK 'Overhead Wire Thickness' system has been used to test over 5000 route kilometres of overhead wire of different designs on the networks of many European transport operators.

Variables Captured:

  • Overhead wire wear (residual height/residual cross-section)
  • Overhead wire contour (including with multiple wires)
  • Overhead wire twist
  • Overhead wire height (rise and sag)
  • Lateral position (stagger)
  • Shocks between pantograph and overhead wire
  • Synchronous video capture
  • Position on the route (GPS coordinates and route)
  • Speed

plus optionally:

  • Voltage and current
  • Temperature (thermographic measurement)


Comprehensive, user-friendly evaluation software respresents the actual overhead wire contour from the laser/scanner data and allows a visual comparison to be made with the ideal contour. This method is considerably more reliable than measurement of the contact surface width or the residual thickness measured from the side owing to the fact that the wires are often twisted. With an overhead wire twist of 45°, for example, such methods would result in measurement errors of respectively 100% (residual thickness from the side) and 68% (measurement of contact surface width).

crosssection vs thickness vs surface


The evaluation software helps the user to detect significant occurrences such as places in which an overhead wire is thinner than the specified minimum thickness, where the lateral position (stagger) is too great, where rise and sag are too great and much more.

Capturing GPS data further enables the deviations to be conveniently displayed in a map view. The data can also be exported to a database or for further processing. Here you can specify freely whether, say, all data should be exported or only data within a given range.

Measurement system images


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