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Catenary Interface Monitoring Coherent sensing technology for electrical railway infrastructure and rolling stock for interoperable cross boundary transportation

In a deregulated EU rail market, the monitoring of the vehicle and infrastructure interface is mandatory for an enhanced availability of operation, which reduces costs. Condition monitoring becomes crucial when a rolling stock is crossing boundaries between independent infrastructure grids.

Tags: Rail

CATIEMON is investigating methods to determine damaged pantographs and overhead line equipment. Effective in-service monitoring of these components ensures that preventive action to be taken before more serious damage occurs.


The SMITS EU Fifth Framework Programme project built the foundation for the CATIEMON project. The principles for condition monitoring were investigated and are now further developed and applied within this project in the Sixth Framework Programme.

SMITS was considering solely the use of techniques involving the pantograph to detect overhead line condition. CATIEMON considers this aspect further and also exmines the use of an infrastructure device to assess pantograph condition.

By investigation damage to these components, effective responsibility can be attributed to the rolling stock or infrastructure owner in relation to the condition of their equipment. The method could also be used to determine access charges and to restrict the use of locos with damaged patographs running on a network.


The objective of this project is to minimise the damages on the overhead contact line (OCL) and the current collector (pantograph). Both rail infrastructure managers and rolling stock operators will obtain greater transparency on the condition of the other party’s devices.

Overhead Contact Line OCL
Overhead Contact Line OCL

Description of work

To enable the train to detect damages on the overhead contact line, the pantograph will be equipped with sensors. The rail infrastructure manager will have an inspection gate at the entrance of his track and will be able to stop trains with faulty pantographs. Non-critical wear on the devices could define reduced or increased fees.


The information needed for interoperability will become available. Through the results of this project the EU railway market can grow.

Current Collector CC
Current Collector CC