Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 311–322 | Cite as

Review of pantograph and catenary interaction

  • Weihua Zhang
  • Dong Zou
  • Mengying Tan
  • Ning Zhou
  • Ruiping Li
  • Guiming Mei
Review Article


The application of electrified railway directly promotes relevant studies on pantograph-catenary interaction. With the increase of train running speed, the operating conditions for pantograph and catenary have become increasingly complex. This paper reviews the related achievements contributed by groups and institutions around the world. This article specifically focuses on three aspects: The dynamic characteristics of the pantograph and catenary components, the systems’ dynamic properties, and the environmental influences on the pantograph-catenary interaction. In accordance with the existing studies, future research may prioritize the task of identifying the mechanism of contact force variation. This kind of study can be carried out by simplifying the pantograph-catenary interaction into a moving load problem and utilizing the theory of matching mechanical impedance. In addition, developing a computational platform that accommodates environmental interferences and multi-field coupling effects is necessary in order to further explore applications based on fundamental studies.


electrified railway pantograph and catenary interaction contact force variation moving load problem mechanical impedance multi-field 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.



The authors are grateful for the support provided by the National Key Research and Development Plan-Specific Project of Advanced Rail Transportation (Grant Nos. 2016YFB1200401-102B and 2016YFB1200506), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51475391), and the Project of Research and Development of Science and Technology from the China Railway Corporation (Grant No. 2017J008-L).


  1. 1.
    Yang G W, Wei Y J, Zhao G L, et al. Research of key mechanics problems in high speed train. Advances in Mechanics, 2015, 45(1): 217–460 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Kubo S, Kato K. Effect of arc discharge on the wear rate and wear mode transition of a copper-impregnated metalized carbon contact strip sliding against a copper disk. Tribology International, 1999, 32 (7): 367–378CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Yamashita C, Sugahara A. Wear modes of contact wire and contact strip under electric current condition. Quarterly Report of RTRI, 2014, 55(2): 67–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Collina A, Melzi S. Effect of contact strip-contact wire interaction on current transfer at high sliding speed in the mid-high frequency range. In: Proceedings of the AITC-AIT Conference. Parma, 2006Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ding T, Chen G X, Bu J, et al. Effect of temperature and arc discharge on friction and wear behaviors of carbon strip/copper contact wire in pantograph-catenary systems. Wear, 2011, 271(9–10): 1629–1636CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Midya S. Electromagnetic interference in modern electrified railway systems with emphasis on pantograph arcing. Dissertation for the Doctoral Degree. Stockholm: Uppsala University, 2008Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Usuda T. Estimation of wear and strain of contact wire using contact force of pantograph. Quarterly Report of RTRI, 2007, 48(3): 170–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Shibata K, Yamaguchi T, Mishima J, et al. Friction and wear properties of copper Caron RB ceramics composite materials under dry condition. Tribology Online, 2008, 3(4): 222–227CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Collina A, Melzi S, Facchinetti A. On the prediction of wear of contact wire in OHE lines: A proposed model. Vehicle System Dynamics, 2002, 37(Suppl 1): 579–592CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Bucca G, Collina A. A procedure for the wear prediction of collector strip and contact wire in pantograph-catenary system. Wear, 2009, 266(1–2): 46–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Ying W, Liu Z G, Ke H, et al. Pantograph-catenary surface heat flow analysis and calculations based on mechanical and electrical characteristics. Journal of the China Railway Society, 2014, 36(7): 36–43 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Ying W, Liu Z G, Fan F Q, et al. Review of research development of pantograph-catenary arc model and electrical characteristics. Journal of the China Railway Society, 2013, 35(8): 35–43 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Wu G, Zhou Y, Lei D, et al. Research advances in electric contact between pantograph and catenary. High Voltage Engineering, 2016, 42(11): 3495–3506 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Vesnitskii A I, Metrikin A V. Transition radiation in onedimensional elastic systems. Journal of Applied Mechanics and Technical Physics, 1992, 33(2): 202–207MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Lee K, Chung J. Dynamic analysis of a hanger-supported beam with a moving oscillator. Journal of Sound and Vibration, 2013, 332(13): 3177–3189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Lopez-Garcia A, Carnicero A, Torres V, et al. The influence of cable slackening on the stiffness computation of railway overheads. International Journal of Mechanical Sciences, 2008, 50(7): 1213–1223CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Cho Y H, Lee K, Park Y, et al. Influence of contact wire pre-sag on the dynamics of pantograph-railway catenary. International Journal of Mechanical Sciences, 2010, 52(11): 1471–1490CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Cho Y H. Numerical simulation of the dynamic responses of railway overhead contact lines to a moving pantograph, considering a nonlinear dropper. Journal of Sound and Vibration, 2008, 315(3): 433–454CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Morikawa T. Investigation of stress of contact wire clamped with steady arms under a moving constant force passing by. Quarterly Report of RTRI, 2000, 41(4): 163–168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Amari S, Tsunemoto M, Kusumi S, et al. Evaluation of resistance at supporting pulley of messenger wire and its influence on current collection characteristics. Quarterly Report of RTRI, 2009, 50(3): 137–143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Sugahara A. Reduction of contact wire strain near dead sections by considering sliding surface level differences. Quarterly Report of RTRI, 2004, 45(2): 74–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Park T J, Han C S, Jang J H. Dynamic sensitivity analysis for the pantograph of a high-speed rail vehicle. Journal of Sound and Vibration, 2003, 266(2): 235–260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Kim J W, Chae H C, Park B S, et al. State sensitivity analysis of the pantograph system for a high-speed rail vehicle considering span length and static uplift force. Journal of Sound and Vibration, 2007, 203(3–5): 405–427CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Kim J W, Yu S N. Design variable optimization for pantograph system of high-speed train using robust design technique. International Journal of Precision Engineering and Manufacturing, 2013, 14(2): 267–273MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Pombo J, Ambrósio J. Influence of pantograph suspension characteristics on the contact quality with the catenary for high speed trains. Computers & Structures, 2012, 110–111: 32–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Yamashita Y, Ikeda M. Upgrading pantograph performance using variable stiffness devices. Quarterly Report of RTRI, 2010, 51(4): 214–219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Collina A, Lo Conte A, Carnevale M. Effect of collector deformable modes in pantograph-catenary dynamic interaction. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part F: Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit, 2009, 223(1): 1–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Bruni S, Ambrosio J, Carnicero A, et al. The results of the pantograph-catenary interaction benchmark. Vehicle System Dynamics, 2015, 54(3): 412–435CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Cho Y H, Lee JM, Park S Y, et al. Robust measurement of damping ratios of a railway contact wire using wavelet transforms. Key Engineering Materials, 2006, 321–323: 1629–1635CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Bianchi J P, Balmès E, Roches G V D, et al. Using modal damping for full model transient analysis: Application to pantograph/catenary vibration. In: Proceedings of ISMA2010-International Conference on Noise and Vibration Engineering including USD2010. Leuven, 2010, 20–22Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Vo Van O, Balmes E, Lorang X. Damping characterization of a high speed train catenary. International Symposium on Dynamics of Vehicles on Roads and Tracks, 2015, 1505–1512Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Zou D, Zhang W H, Li R P, et al. Determining damping characteristics of railway overhead wire system for finite element analysis. Vehicle System Dynamics, 2016, 54(7): 902–917CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Nåvik P, Rønnquist A, Stichel S. Identification of system damping in railway catenary wire systems from full-scale measurements. Engineering Structures, 2016, 113: 71–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Park S Y, Jeon B U, Lee J M, et al. Measurement of low-frequency wave propagation in a railway contact wire with dispersive characteristics using wavelet transform. Key Engineering Materials, 2006, 321–323: 1609–1615CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Zou D, Zhou N, Li R P, et al. Experimental and simulation study of wave motion upon railway overhead wire system. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part F: Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit, 2016, 231(8): 934–944CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Hayasaka T. Effect of reduced reflective wave propagation on overhead contact lines in overlap section. Quarterly Report of RTRI, 2004, 45(2): 68–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Aboshi M, Manabe K. Analyses of contact force fluctuation between catenary and pantograph. Quarterly Report of RTRI, 2000, 41(4): 182–187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Manabe K, Fujii Y. Overhead system resonance with multipantographs and countermeasures. Railway Technical Research Institute, Quarterly Reports, 1989, 30(4): 175–180Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Liu Z, Jönsson P A, Sebastian S, et al. Implications of the operation of multiple pantographs on the soft catenary systems in Sweden. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Part F, Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit, 2015, 53(3): 341–346Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Liu Z, Jönsson P A, Stichel S, et al. On the implementation of an auxiliary pantograph for speed increase on existing lines. Vehicle System Dynamics, 2016, 54(8): 1077–1097CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Zhou N. Pantograph and catenary interaction with the train speed beyond 350 km/h. Dissertation for the Doctoral Degree. Chengdu: Southwest Jiao Tong University, 2012Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Li R, Zhang W, Zhou N, et al. Influence of a high-speed train passing through a tunnel on pantograph aerodynamics and pantograph-catenary interaction. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part F: Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit, 231: 198–210Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Li R, Zhou N, Zhang W, et al. Fluctuating wind field and windinduced vibration response of catenary based on AR model. Journal of Traffic and Transportation Engineering, 2013, 13(4): 56–62 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Guo D, Yao S, Liu C, et al. Unsteady aerodynamic characteristics of high-speed pantograph. Journal of the China Railway Society, 2012, 34(11): 16–21Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Suzuki M, Ikeda M, Yoshida K. Study on numerical optimization of cross-sectional panhead shape for high-speed train. Journal of Mechanical Systems for Transportation and Logistics, 2008, 1(1): 100–110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Suzuki M, Ikeda M, Koyama T. Flow control for pantographs using air intake and outlet. Journal of Mechanical Systems for Transportation and Logistics, 2008, 1(3): 272–280CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Ikeda M, Manabe K. Development of low noise pantograph with passive lift suppression mechanism of panhead. Quarterly Report of RTRI, 2000, 41(4): 177–181CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Ikeda M, Takaishi T. Perforated pantograph horn Aeolian tone suppression mechanism. Quarterly Report of RTRI, 2004, 45(3): 169–174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Takaishi T, Ikeda M. Numerical method for evaluating aeroacoustic sound sources. Quarterly Report of RTRI, 2005, 46(1): 23–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Ikeda M, Suzuki M, Yoshida K. Study on optimization of panhead shape possessing low noise and stable aerodynamic characteristics. Quarterly Report of RTRI, 2006, 47(2): 72–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Ikeda M, Yoshida K, Suzuki M. A flow control technique utilizing air blowing of modify the aerodynamic characteristics of pantograph for high speed train. Journal of Mechanical Systems for Transportation and Logistics, 2008, 1(3): 264–271CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Ikeda M, Mitsumoji T. Evaluation method of low frequency aeroacoustic noise source structure generated by shinkansen pantograph. Quarterly Report of RTRI, 2008, 49(3): 184–190CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Mitsumoji T, Sato Y, Ikeda M, et al. A basic study on aerodynamic noise reduction techniques for a pantograph head using plasma actuators. Quarterly Report of RTRI, 2014, 55(3): 184–189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Bocciolone M, Resta F, Rocchi D, et al. Pantograph aerodynamic effects on the pantograph-catenary interaction. Vehicle System Dynamics, 2006, 44(Suppl 1): 560–570CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Noger C, Patrat J C, Peube J, et al. Aeroacoustical study of the TGV pantograph recess. Journal of Sound and Vibration, 2000, 231(3): 563–575CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Bouferrouk A, Baker C J, Sterling M, et al. Calculation of the crosswind displacement of pantographs. In: Proceedings of BBAA VI International Colloquium on: Bluff Bodies Aerodynamics & Applications. Milano, 2008, 20–24Google Scholar
  57. 57.
    Vo Van O, Massat J P, Laurent C, et al. Introduction of variability into pantograph-catenary dynamic simulations. Vehicle System Dynamics, 2014, 52(10): 1254–1269CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    Song Y, Liu Z, Wang H, et al. Nonlinear analysis of wind-induced vibration of high-speed railway catenary and its influence on pantograph-catenary interaction. Vehicle System Dynamics, 2016, 54(6): 723–747CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    Pombo J, Ambrósio J. Environmental and track perturbations on multiple pantograph interaction with catenaries in high-speed trains. Computers & Structures, 2013, 124: 88–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Pombo J, Ambrósio J, Pereira M, et al. Influence of the aerodynamic forces on the pantograph-catenary system for high speed trains. Vehicle System Dynamics, 2009, 47(11): 1327–1347CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    Pombo J, Ambrosio J. Multiple pantograph interaction with catenaries in high-speed trains. Journal of Computational and Nonlinear Dynamics, 2012, 7(4): 041008CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Weihua Zhang
    • 1
  • Dong Zou
    • 1
  • Mengying Tan
    • 1
  • Ning Zhou
    • 1
  • Ruiping Li
    • 1
  • Guiming Mei
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Traction PowerSouthwest Jiao Tong UniversityChengduChina

Personalised recommendations