In the course of a study on the electrification of the Northeast Corridor for the Department of Transportation, a body of knowhow has been accumulated. Design formulas from various sources (US and foreign literature, cable and wire manufacturers, railroad officials and engineers) have been collected, and sometimes extended and an attempt has been made to present this in a coherent body. In this process it has become more and more apparent that the mechanical tension of the wires is the single most important parameter, and that the greater its value, the more advantages would be found for the catenary. It should only be limited so much that a reliable service life of at least forty years can be expected. A preliminary investigation has shown that for cadmium copper wires with at least 50% of cold working, and under constant tension for their whole service life, this is possible for stresses as high as 70% of the tensile strength. For other wires, or when their tension is not kept constant, 50% of the tensile strength seems the limit for a reasonable service life. However more studies and tests need to be undertaken before such tensions can be realized in a major project. Finally, a graphical representation has been developed for the design of a catenary with a given operating speed. A range of values of the catenary tension and span length can be found, taking into account the effect of the maximum lateral wind, the principal mechanical resonance frequency of the catenary and the dynamic forces, which depend on the pantograph dynamic mass and on the catenary elasticity.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Presented at the 1976 Joint ASME/IEEE Railroad Technical Conference, Chicago, Illinois, April 6-8, 1976.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

    3 Park Avenue, 17th Floor
    New York, NY  United States  10016-5997
  • Authors:
    • Thomet, M A
  • Publication Date: 1976-1-27

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References;
  • Pagination: 16 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00131636
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • Report/Paper Numbers: C76 458-5 IA
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 14 1976 12:00AM