New inter-vehicle jumper cables for Deutsche Bahn ICNTs

Written by 

Alfonso Perez

Vice President Market Manager Railway

Deutsche Bahn's ICNT InterCity trains with tilting technology travel approximately 400,000 kilometres per year – a distance equivalent to almost ten times around the world. After 15 years in operation, a major overhaul of the trains is now imminent. As previously, they will once again be equipped with inter-vehicle jumper cables from HUBER+SUHNER.

Both the high-speed trains from the ICNT model range and Deutsch Bahn's ICE3 trains, which reach speeds of up to 300km/h, have been operating with inter-vehicle jumper cables from HUBER+SUHNER for around 15 years. Travelling between 400,000 and 600,000 kilometres per year, the cables have thus covered between 6 and 9 million kilometres since they were installed.


When Deutsche Bahn installed these inter-vehicle transitions 15 years ago, HUBER+SUHNER guaranteed a service life of 8 years. After all, the cables are permanently in motion, and exposed to permanent vibrations and mechanical stress at very high speeds. When an overhaul was performed after 8 years of continuous operation however, the inter-vehicle jumper systems showed no significant damage. Despite this, the removed cables were extensively tested on HUBER+SUHNER's endurance motion testing rigs, by simulating movements for another 4 years of service. The results were so good, Deutsche Bahn decided to replace the jumper cables after 15 years instead, which corresponds to about half the service life of the trains themselves.


These 15 years have now passed, and the first series of trains is now due for an overhaul. Deutsch Bahn therefore recently ordered a substantial number of new inter-vehicle jumper cables from HUBER+SUHNER: 230 cable systems are required for 31 trains with 7 carriages and 11 trains with 5 carriages. The proven systems will be delivered to the Deutsche Bahn depot in Nuremberg in train-sized batches, and the rebuilding measures are expected to take until the end of 2015. With Deutsche Bahn once again relying on the proven inter-vehicle jumper systems from its past and current partner, HUBER+SUHNER hopes to receive a follow-up order for the tilting trains from the second series after work on overhauling the first series is completed.