Pantograph Contact

The DTK Pantograph Contact examination is used on the one hand to examine the kinematics and dynamics of the pantograph and on the other hand to test the quality of its interaction with the overhead wire. In this method, the handling of shocks and changes in contact force during the upward and downward movement of the pantograph are tested prior to or after the actual measurement run itself. Additionally, the pantograph characteristic is also obtained.

Variables Captured:

  • Contact force in N over the entire working range at different speeds
  • Height
  • Time


The pantograph test provides information about the working height at which, and at what speed, the contact force reduces so much that sufficient contact between the carbon strips and the overhead wire can no longer be assured. These results can be combined with the height and the rise and/or sag data of the overhead line measurement in order to obtain a suitable regulation of the overhead wire height or of travel speed. The pantograph characteristic meanwhile indicates the optimum working height of the pantograph under investigation. With the aid of this characteristic, it is also possible to determine whether the transport operator should modify the contact force currently set.


From this investigation customers can deduce whether the pantograph is capable of following all height variations of the overhead wire or whether, owing to the characteristics of the pantograph, there are points at which the electric contact will be interrupted. It is also possible to evaluate how the pantograph responds to the shocks that occur and whether these shocks may cause damage to the contact strips.

Measurement system images

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