Current collecting shoegear system and third rail interactions

Electric railways collect power from the infrastructure via two main current collection systems, namely overhead pantograph and conductor rail systems. Simplicity of construction, greater reliability and lower maintenance costs give conductor rail systems greater advantages and preference over their overhead counterparts. The conductor rail system is comprised of a fixed conductor rail and a current collector shoe assembly. The study of complex dynamics of the shoe-rail interaction is crucial to the fault detection and maintenance of the shoe assembly and conductor rail system. Failing to detect faults or to maintain the shoe assembly or the conductor rail in a timely manner could result in transportation problems such as power failure or even train derailment.

Motivated by power disruptions in Singapore's subway system in 2012, in this project a simple analytical dynamic model of an under-running conductor rail system is developed for the first time and dynamic response of the shoegear assembly and the conductor (third) rail is studied. Effects of trains speed, and third rail supports failure are investigated. The results show that sagging of the third rail due to the support failure results in excessive force in the shoe assembly which consequently brings about contact loss between the collector shoe and the third rail and could also potentially break the shoegear.

Related Publications:

  • Hosseinloo, A.H. and Yap, F.F, . Dynamics and vibration analysis of current collecting shoegear system and third rail interactions. Under Preparation.