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Transition to high performance railway overhead power lines

Department of Mechanical Engineering

About the Project

Recently undertaken research at Sheffield has identified opportunities to reduce the cost and improve the reliability of rail electrification systems through improvements to materials and design of the pantograph to overhead line contact. The research focuses in two areas: (i) Testing the effectiveness of an alternative overhead line metallurgy in reducing electric arc damage and increasing fatigue life. (ii) System design changes to improve performance at failure points including transitions to neutral sections, and steep contact wire gradients approaching bridges or tunnels with limited clearances. Sheffield has experimental faculties for arc exposure of contact wires, wear and fatigue testing. It is expected the project will make use of experimental and modelling routes to investigate mitigation of damage from dynamic loading, wear and fatigue produced by combined mechanical and electrical loading.

Funding Notes

1st or 2:1 degree in Engineering, Materials Science, Physics, Chemistry, Applied Mathematics, or other Relevant Discipline.

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