High-Speed Trains (HST) aka HSL High-Speed Line (HSL) projects are springing up around the world:
- Spain Murcia – Almeria HSL
- China Yinxi HSL & Shanghe – Hangzhou HSL
- N Europe Rail Baltica HSL (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania)
- Turkey Ankara – Sivas HSL
- USA Las Vegas – Victorville HSL & the Texas Central Railway HSL
Take Rail Baltica in Northern Europe as an example. The plan is to connect the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania with the Western European railway network by 2026. It’s an ambitious plan as it includes not just the train itself but also a completely new railway infrastructure. It will build in connections to other transport modes from the very beginning. This is a “greenfield” project because there are no existing systems to modify and adapt which makes it far less complex than say the UK Crossrail project.
It will use the European gauge standard (1435mm gauge) and will connect Tallinn in Estonia, Riga in Latvia, Vilnius in Lithuania, and then connect into European and Polish railway networks. The initial planning is looking at each train having 8 carriages with approximately 70 seats per carriage.
Extensive Passenger Services
High-speed trains -and the Rail Baltica concept is no exception- are designed with a wide range of services like Wi-Fi, USB ports, AC charging outlets, video screens, and even teleconferencing facilities. These are built in to optimize the passenger experience so that travelers leave satisfied and loyal.
Institutional pressure is also working in rail’s favor. In France, the National Assembly passed a bill to ban short-haul internal flights where the journey could be done by train in under two-and-a-half hours.
It helps a trend that makes high-speed long-distance rail an increasingly important component of the connected workplace.
Underlying those user priorities is safety. Safety is the fundamental priority and is being given significant attention as the Baltic’s first HST. Obviously, the train will include an extensive fire safety system including smoke detection, fire extinguisher systems, video surveillance, and include an emergency contact button.
Safety is the Foundation for HSL Rail Services
Good business and the regulatory environment are mandating that all HST’s build-in safety layers into the sub-systems of trains. For example, most if not all of the passenger services I mentioned above all require extensive cabling and wiring. This has to be protected against potential abrasion as it is routed through and crosses metal edges in the train’s structure. That protection comes in the form of grommet edging which prevents abrasion and also needs to be flame, smoke, and toxicity (FST) qualified.
It's needed as the wiring is exposed to significant vibration in normal HST operation. This creates a high risk of wires being abraded or scuffed as they cross sharp edges in the train. Abrasion creates short circuits and arcing that can stop critical systems working and in the worst case create the fire people fear most -which can, of course, be catastrophic.
Spring-Fast ® Grommet Edging
DTi’s Spring-Fast grommet edging is growing rapidly in Europe. OEMs are recognizing its proven track record of abrasion protection in high vibration and fire averse arenas like auto, aerospace, and rail. It also helps that it is FST compliant and meets the important EN 45545-2 European Rail Standard.
Spring-Fast is a stark contrast to the messy and archaic glued-on nylon grommet that manufacturers have used since the 1950s. Other competitive materials that may not require adhesives do not meet the FST safety standards. Spring-Fast was designed with a metal substrate that allowed finger pressure application and a strong grip without glue. It has no known failures in over 35 years of OEM application. Spring-Fast has 12 different variants to suit most applications but DTi can also design and produce custom variants as needed.
Find out more about Spring-Fast SL-FST here
Request free samples here