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Improving protection of European rail control systems

Improving protection of European rail control systems

The trains in Europe shall be able to interoperate cross borders. The EU objective is nice and clear, and it inspires other regions around the world. The realization, however, demands large investments in signaling systems and equipment – and certainly a new, efficient way of sealing shelters and cabinets.

Considering the ongoing rollout and upcoming implementation of ERTMS, the European Railway Traffic Management System, it is important for manufacturers of shelters, cabinets and enclosures to provide safe and user-friendly solutions. The signaling system equipment needs protection against multiple risk factors, such as water ingress, humidity, fire, rodents and vibration in accordance with owners’, designers’ and governmental requirements – as well as in line with the new EU standard. The initiative cannot risk any trouble, accidents or downtime because of leakage or intrusion into cabinets with trackside equipment. 

Better with transits than glands

Traditional cable glands for entries into cabinets and equipment respond to some of the requirements, but they require far too much space and too many holes – one for each cable as well as a new opening for any additional cable. They can hardly match up with today’s new type of sealing solutions when it comes to meeting practical challenges such as quick installation and smart long-term cost-efficiency. 

The new seals, mechanical transits for multiple cables and pipes, consisting of lightweight frames and rubber sealing modules, have changed the way the railway industry look at efficient cabinet sealing. The seals enable routing and sealing of many pre-terminated cable through each opening. This is not only a matter of ensuring protection: it simplifies and speeds up installation work in factories and in the field. 

So, before providing shelters and housings for all this new equipment, lead engineers should make sure they use modern sealing technology that provides full protection and is easy and efficient to work with. The selected sealing partners should also be able to provide local support onsite, anywhere in Europe.  

Flexible solutions in Belgium 

One example is the multi-cable sealing system that is in use all over Belgium. You find these seals in cabinets and junction boxes for power supply, station control and tunnel security as well as in shelters for signaling and rail control ensuring compliance with the ERTMS and the European Train Control System, ETCS. Rittal Belgium is supplying railway operator Infrabel with shelters and cabinets already equipped with these multi-cable seals. It is beneficial with seals that can keep cabinets safely closed during transport and then be opened and adapted to cables of different sizes during immediate or future installations. Are you curious about the new way of sealing within rail engineering in Belgium?

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