What is the railway harness? Sep 15, 2023

What is a railway wiring harness?

Wiring harness can be defined as connecting wires or cables through the use of various materials, such as vinyl, rubber, or conduit. The wire harness of any system is primarily used to transmit electrical signals and power. The applications of wire harnesses extend beyond the electrical and power industries, they are also used in automotive, mechanical, military, aerospace and construction.

 Railway Wiring Harness

Wiring harnesses or cable harnesses are usually designed and produced in a manner that meets their intended use and requirements. The manufacturing process of wiring or wiring harnesses is crucial to their reliability and durability in different industries. The type of machine used for production determines its effectiveness. There are several simple wire machining tools that are effective, however, when demand is high and production is used for commercial purposes, these simple tools or machines will not qualify and can lead to poor wire harness production. Therefore, the production of wire or cable harnesses requires heavy duty wire cutting and stripping machines. Other types of machines and equipment required include: wiring harness equipment, automatic crimping and stripping machines, cable manufacturing machinery, wiring harness assembly equipment, etc.


 Cable harnesses - railway industry


The application of wire harness has been extended to railway construction. Rail transport is one of the most efficient and user-friendly modes of transport. Every year, transport system experts and professionals seek new technological advances to improve the operation of rail transport and generate high energy consumption. Before these innovative ideas and expert studies, trains consumed a lot of energy during operation, which was due to the large number of electronic systems inside the trains. Therefore, designers and manufacturers of these trains are designing new efficient systems to reduce the amount of energy consumed to operate in safe conditions. It has been proven that the introduction of driverless trains designed with internal energy-saving systems will bring about an era of lower energy consumption railway systems. The wiring harnesses used in the manufacture of electronic systems play a crucial role in the construction of railway transport systems, and the electronic systems are then used as part of the components. In other words, the performance of the train indirectly depends on the development effect of the wiring harness. Wiring harnesses are also used in the construction of connecting trains, and these types of trains are among the most important in the rail transit industry. Due to the purpose and use of connecting trains, the wiring harnesses used in the production of these trains are mostly strong. Most connected trains are used to transport large numbers of people and large loads, and they are known to provide comfort and safety for passengers.


There are different types of trains that require wire harnesses in rail transportation, including: Metro/monorail, light rail, and high-speed rail/bullet trains.


Cable harnesses - railway industry

The challenges of railway wiring harnesses

Despite the importance of wire harnesses in rail transportation, there are several issues that limit the use of wire harnesses or cable harnesses. Some of these factors include:


Railway Wiring Harness--Copper price fluctuation

Most wire harnesses are manufactured using highly conductive materials such as copper and aluminum. These materials are often in high demand in various industries such as power, infrastructure and aerospace, and as a result, the price of these materials, especially copper, is unstable. This instability or volatility in copper prices is mainly due to the large gap between high demand and low supply. Because the railway industry requires a large amount of copper to produce the wiring harnesses used to make rail transport trains, fluctuations in the price of copper are a limitation. The production of wire harnesses in the railway industry is determined by labor costs, material costs, transportation costs and other factors. In addition to the volatile price of copper, the cost requirement to meet these factors has also hindered the development of railway wiring harnesses. In addition, the use of industrial equipment may also hinder the production of wire harnesses for rail transport.


Railway Wiring Harness -- Durability

In rail transport, rolling stock and support structures require several electronic systems for optimal operation. Cables and wires are responsible for transporting the power needed for these systems. These systems in railway transportation include lighting systems, braking systems, traction systems, transmission systems, etc. The system uses wire harnesses to distribute low - and high-voltage power to rolling stock. Most of the time, due to the huge machinery of the train, the wiring harness is exposed to a huge load, which affects its durability. In addition to large loads, sometimes constant heat on the harness can also reduce its performance. Therefore, when using wire harnesses in the construction of railway transportation systems, manufacturers are faced with the durability of wires or cables due to load and heat.


Environmental challenges for Railway wiring harnesses


Environmental changes are also another major cause for concern when using wire harnesses in railway systems. Most track systems powered by wire harnesses tend to fail after a while due to exposure to moisture, as this tends to cause corrosion of wires or cables. For example, one of the effects of corrosion on the wiring harnesses of railway systems is to cause a drop in voltage and current. This failure can cause some systems, such as electronic systems connected to wiring harnesses, to perform abnormally. Sometimes, it takes only a slight change in the surrounding environment for the wiring harnesses of most trains to fail.

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