You are on page 1of 16


Main requirement of a collection gear is that it should not leave the contact of
OHE under any circumstances. Contact wire in all practical installations is never
perfectly horizontal. It raises and falls depending upon the weight of the contact
wire, the distance between the droppers. Also the contact wire comes very low
under bridges and tunnels and raises high over public crossings. Depending upon
the speed of the electric vehicle, collector gear has to rise and falls in order to
maintain the contact with OHE.
Main function of Pantograph is to maintain a link between the overhead
system and power circuit of the locomotive at varying speeds in different climatic
and wind conditions on varying stiffness of OHE. These factors and differing riding
qualities of the locomotives at various speeds result in differing dynamic conditions,
which affect the contact pressure between the collector strip and contact wire.
A positive pressure has to be maintained at all times to avoid loss of contact
and sparking. Yet this pressure must be as low as possible to ensure minimum wear
of contact wire.
There are 2 types of Pantographs
1. Diamond type pantographs are used for DC EMUs
2. Single ended Faiveley types are used for AC/DC locos and AC EMUs.
Again, Faiveley type pantographs are 2 types
1. AM 12—for 25 KV AC – single pan is used.
2. AM 18 –for 1500 V DC – two pans are used
In case of 25 KV AC traction systems, the contact wire of OHE is of light
section. This would mean low contact pressure of 6.5 to 9 Kg as against average
pressure of 10 to 15 Kg for DC pantograph. At higher speeds, aerodynamic pressure
gets developed, which usually adds up to the static pressure. However it is
advisable to keep this variation to the minimum by proper aerodynamic design of
the locomotive body and positioning of the pantograph suitably on the roof.
Pan extremities have special shape of inverted horn. This prevents pan from
fouling with contact wire at crossings and also getting entangled with sagging
contact wire.
There are 2 pantographs mounted on the roof of an electric locomotive, each
one on four insulators. At a time, one is raised and connects the locomotive with
OHE contact wire. Normally the pantograph rear to the cab used for driving is
raised. i.e. rear to the direction of movement of the locomotive (if rear is defective
or damaged, front can be used to work )
8) Spring box
Horizontal spindle
9) Positioning link
Lower arm
10) Raising springs
11) Servo motor
Upper arm
12) Collector
Thrust rod
13) Un-insulated horn
Transverse tube
14) Support insulator


These springs are fixed between the ends of a balancing member and arms (shackles) on the horizontal spindle. In each box there is a sliding plunger. A Positioning link is pivoted on a pin at the end of Thrust rod and other end is fixed to transverse tube through a shank (steady link). Base is very light and is made up of welded sections. whose action permits raising without shock at the catenary and a rapid initial lowering followed by a slowing down at the end of the movement. This articulated system is designed to allow an extension of 2. which is turning inside two bearings. nozzle connected to the feeding pipe and several escape holes. which carries a fork. A resilient suspension for the collector is made on two spring boxes. An upper frame consists of two tubes one end fixed to yoke and at the other end braced across by Transverse tube. as the arm rotates. An upper framework is jointed to the extremity of the lower arm through Yoke. PNEUMATIC CONTROL MECHANISM The piston is held at the bottom of its stroke by the group of 3 springs whose force overcomes that of the working springs causing the pantograph to lower and be held in the down position even at high speeds.460 meters. its seat. The throttle valve includes a barrel. compressed air raises and the springs lower the pantograph. Admission and escape of air are regulated by the throttle valve. thus avoiding shocks on the base. This link maintains the contact plane horizontal during vertical movements of collector. A Pan is of light alloy frame and carries two bolted collecting strips and un-insulated inverted horns. Maintenance: 1. It therefore follows freely all the oscillations of the contact wire. which are carried at the end of transverse tube. Force is transmitted by a piston inside a cylinder and held back by springs. A thrust rod is pivoted at a fixed point on the base and other end is fixed on the yoke. The sole function of air is to cancel the lowering effort of the springs and it has no direct effect on the pantograph. A lower arm is welded with horizontal spindle. When the pantograph is working and the air pressure is maintained in the control cylinder. carrying the articulated system on two ball bearings. Articulation system is formed by: A horizontal spindle. raises the pantograph and provides contact force. the insulating link which carries at one end a slotted member sliding on the pin of the horizontal spindle. the piston is kept still and the articulated system is entirely free kept raised only by the up-spring device.CONSTRUCTION: The AM type pantograph comprises of Base and Articulation system. the equipment collapses by itself. on which is fixed the yoke of collector. Two raising springs balances the mass of the articulated system and at the same time. Servomotor: 2 . OPERATION Basically. This rod ensures the positioning of the upper frame. Should lack of air occur.

Bow assembly:  Thickness of wearing strips  Cleaning of contact surface  Check for grooves and sharp edges  Check for any strip fixing screw missing/ projection/loose  Apply graphite grease  Check bow plunger for easy movement  Oil the plunger  Check any cross members of panto / pan are bending  Check end strips for wear and damage  Check horn for cracks 6. Adjustments:  Static contact pressure of 7 kg.  Drain the cylinder and overhaul Check the piston for wear. lubricate the cylinder walls and check for air leakages. clean and lubricate with Vaseline 12 Split pins: 3 . Throttle valve:  Check. Roof bars/connections:  Check visually 10.  Use multipurpose grease 3. Frame:  Check visually for any bending etc. Copper shunts:  Check for damage or deficiency  Check for any wear and any flash over. 7. Stopcocks:  Operate stopcocks 9. Lubrication:  Graphite grease (grade 2) lubrication on panto pan  Throttle valve lubrication by Vaseline  Oiling of spring plungers with URSA oil / TALPA 40 (Shell)/Mobil oil DTE 3  Ball bearings of articulations by Alvania 3 /Mobilux 2  Pin joint articulation by Thuban K (caltex)/ Mobilux C 140 /Mobilux C90 / Nassa 79 / Limia 15 shell / Thuban 140  Articulation of thrust rod  Servo motor piston packing 4.  Raising time and lowering time  Horizontality of pan by spirit level  Transverse flexibility 3. 8. Insulators:  Check for flash marks / cracks  Cleaning with petrol and wiping by dry cloth 5. Regal starfak special (shell) 2. 11. Main springs:  Check visually for any cracks etc. Beacon 2 (esso).

horizontality of panto pan : panto pan should be horizontal when loco is standing on level track. static contact pressure of panto pan : with 7 kg wt. generally from the height of 1. 1. strip fixing screws : should not be missing. height. 7.5 mt. 9. 10. 14. RNC : bridging of OHE. RNC : excess friction between strip and OHE and thus more wear. balncing of panto at 0. 6. raising time : 6 –10 sec. Adjustment through throttle valve gauged hole. RNC : unequal wear of panto. 4 . application of graphite grease : between the strips upto the level of strips. 2. panto damage due to sudden lowering. damage to panto pan. wear of contact wire and contact strip. RNC : flashovers and OHE trippings. damage to the OHE due to formation of sharp edges. lowering time : max.5 / 1 / 1. The raising spring should never be tightened to increase the raising time. Bearings: All bearings are to be checked for its lubrication and any malfunctioning due to breakage or other reasons. RNC : sparking .75 / 2 meters.5 kg/cm2 (servo motor spring adjustment) RNC : less contact pressure. entanglement with OHE. Recommended grease ALVANIA 3 (shell) –300 grams To achieve reliability of locomotives through proper maintenance Persons engaged in locomotive maintenance should know all that what is needed to be done for proper maintenance of the locomotives during various schedules. 11.Foot insulators and slotted rod insulator : no flash marks or cracks and no dirt accumulation. minimum working air pressure for complete rise of panto : 3. 3. bad current collection. crack or excessive side play. 8. Check for no missing and should be opened 60 0 13. grooves & sharp edges on strip : max. till it rests on its stop.5 mt. 10 sec. RNC : sparking between OHE and panto pan due to natural vibration. RNC : sparking. damage to OHE. RNC : variation in raising time. easy movement of bow plunger : free sliding when pressed and released. Result of not checking : burning of strips. damage to OHE. thickness of wearing strips : not less than 4 mm. Extension by thrust rod. Oiling of plunger with URSA oil is required. 4. RNC : bad current collection. from the time air fed till the time the panto reaches 1.5 mt. raising will be more than 10 sec. Adjustment through throttle valve. permissible groove is 1 mm. Articulation assembly: the longitudinal tubes with its fittings are to be checked for any looseness. projecting or loose.5 / 1. 5. Adjustment of the bow friction plane to horizontal plane at 1.

on defective / broken upper frame tube .12.0 / 1. Checks and Tests on Pantograph : 1.4. pins etc. The contacts of the braid on steel be tinned. ALL SPLIT PINS SHOULD BE CHANGED DURING POH AND OPENING SHOULD BE 600 Inspection.75 mt  deflection of plunger checked :  at 7 kg --. Visual :  General appearance  Locking arrangement  Panto Pan top surface  Fitment of Shunts. If spring boxes or any of its part broken / defective / removed. 13.copper shunts or braids : not more than 10 % of strands be cut. rise of panto : 2460 mm. Visual 2. max. DIMENSIONAL CHECKS: Height of Panto Pan on Collapsed condition : 276 + 5mm  Overall dimensions of Panto pan: 1800 + 5mm x 240 mm  Max. Adjust max. RNC : panto horizontality will be lost and damage to pantopan. :. insulator rod adjustment : 3 – 5 mm play between pin and slot.5 kg/cm 2  air pressure when panto starts lowering ---. 5 . RNC : damage to bearings and bimetallic action. 2.5 / 1. air pressure for complete extension --.3 to 3. Static Performance 4. Check with Go-NoGo gauge. 14. Static performance : static pressure adjusted at 7 kg check at 0. broken / defective spring box.two spring boxes keep panto in balanced position and gives required contact pressure on contact wire. Actual performance of Pantograph with servo motor and throttle valve.5 mt.5 kg/cm 2 Pantograph defects : 1. panto pan tilts and entangles with OHE.36 + 5 mm  horizontality of panto pan at 1. panto will lose its equilibrium and becomes tilted and may hit with any cantilever part and may be broken. RNC : affects full extended position of pantograph.10 +2mm / --0 mm Actual performance of pantograph : raising time and lowering time  min.5 / 1. Height with spirit level. rise. upper frame tube :. Dimensional 3. extended height : 2460 + 0 mm / -20 mm  Wearing Strips : 25 x 7 mm x 1037 mm  transverse flexibility at 50 kg ---.

It should also be checked whether steady arm holding contact wire is freely moving vertically or not. PANTOGRAPH WEARING STRIP :Pantograph wearing strip should be properly fastened with panto pan.plunger.3. Any hit mark observe in this locations should be noted. balancing rod and articulation rod etc. B=1800. PREPARATION OF JOINT REPORT 6 . C=300 and D =380 as shown in fig. dropper clips.equilibrium is lost and may entangle with OHE. 4. spring box etc. CONDITION OF CRACKED OHE FITTINS:Such as clamps. 5. defect in positioning link :. There should no bent strip or deep grooves. PG clamp. AVAILABILITY OF SPLIT PINS :Check availability split pins in pantograph assembly. pantograph entanglement may occur. 9.if defective. will go upside and entangles with OHE. broken / defective yoke :. improper leveling of panto pan :10. All dimensions are in mm. panto pan reverses down in its position. grease pan modification :12. LDPT should be done on critical components like plungers. droppers. longitudinal tubes getting broken :_ because of rusting due to seepage of water.due to poor quality of welding. 11. The grease plates should properly fastened. broken insulator :. cracks in mechanical parts :.panto tilts and entangles with OHE. it is necessary to quickly check the following items pertaining to the OHE and pantograph. splice and jumpers. contact wires. under parts of panto pan like rod. MEASUREMENTS The measurements so recorded should tally with the measurements in the structure erection drawing for entanglement locations (marked on OHE mast). breakage of steady link :. missing pins and fasteners :8. suspension brackets and contact wire should be checked to record whether the cracks are fresh or old. Strip joints must be smooth. 7. MEASUREMENT OF PANTOGRAPH:Measurement of intact pantograph should be A=520. pins to detect cracks. LOCATION OF HIT MARKS:Search for hit marks in steady arm and the registration arm tube. 6. improper static force on OHE :CHECKS AFTER PANTO ENTANGLEMENT: Even after ensuring all precautionary items. BROKEN COMPONENTS OF PANTOGRAPH :The broken parts of pantograph should be inspected to check whether cracks are fresh or old. This should be done without causing any delay in the restoration work. In such cases.

30917. Damaged engine shall be detached at a suitable station for joint inspection by TRD and TRS/TRO supervisors.02. if necessary.DEE(TRD) & Sr. The sketch and joint OHE measurements of the affected portion shall be done before starting OHE restoration work.DEE(TRS) about the incident and will arrange to send LI immediately to the site preferably along with tower wagon for joint measurements.           As soon as OHE breakdown or Panto entanglement case occurs. In case of tripping of OHE on raising the front panto. in case diesel engine is not available and OHE is holding. the OHE measurement of 5 to 6 locations in rear to this culprit location shall also be recorded. in both cases. gate or station whichever is nearer.03 or 8. Joint measurements of electric loco & OHE shall be recorded by TRD & TRO/TRS supervisors as per annexure 9. As soon as the joint sketch & joint measurements of affected portion are recorded. However. Complete joint report shall be sent Sr. In the affected block section no electric locomotive shall be allowed to enter from rear of the affected portion. driver and guard of the train shall report to TPC/SCOR the first hand information of site condition along with the actual location of the breakdown within 15” through emergency field telephone. OHE shall be made permanently fit subsequently. 8. Driver of the affected train shall lower the damaged pantograph immediately and raise the front panto only once. Driver or any other railway staff shall not go on the roof of Electric loco without ensuring that OHE has been made dead and earthed on both sides of locomotive by OHE staff in accordance with the procedure laid down in ACTM for power blocks. In case. The rear of the affected portion shall be treated as unsafe for electric traction till it is certified fit by TRD supervisor at site. In case of OHE breakdown or panto entanglement.03 mentioned in ACTM para no. Preferably diesel engine shall be given as assisting engine.02 & 9. he shall not raise it again unless instructed to do so by TPC/TLC/LI/TRD inspector at sire. TPC on duty shall alert OHE breakdown supervisors from the both ends of breakdown site immediately. tower wagon shall be treated as breakdown vehicle and shall be given priority over other movements so as to reach at breakdown site within shortest possible time. the OHE shall be restored quickly by TRD staff and traffic allowed after imposing a temporary speed restriction. The OHE measurements in rear to the location of panto entanglement for 5 to 6 locations hall also be recorded. The tower wagon with gang shall be ready within 30” by night after message by TPC. assisting engine shall be given from front side to pull the train into next station. 7 . AC locomotive can be given as assisting engine. TLC will also inform to Sr.DEE(TRS) for further action. the culprit locations is noticed in some other block section.

Availability of all split pins Horizontal (Check it with spirit level) Free vertical movement Transverse flexibility of pan 1) 2) 3) All 1) 2) 1) 2) No bend No crack No dislocation from fixing pivots splits intact No signs of bending No cracks on spring No old crack No fresh crack Panto Pan Measurement A A D C ACTUAL AM-12 520 1800 300 380 ABCD- B Panto Type A B C D AM-12 520 1800 300 380 AM-18 632 2032 306 384 OHE – ITEMS OF CHECK 8 AM-18 632 2032 306 384 4 . Positioning link 6 7 Split pins Pantograph frame 8 Broken cracked fitting STANDARD 3 1) Proper Fastening 2) No loose fastener 3) No bend strips 4) No deep grooves 5) Smooth strip Joints 6) No hindrance to smooth riding of contact wire on pan 1) 2) 1) 2) 1) 2) 3) Properly fastened Standard design Free sliding while pressing.Format: PANTOGRAPH – ITEMS OF CHECK Sr. OBSERVATION ITEMS OF CHECK 1 1 2 Wearing strips Fastening 2 Grease Plate 3 Bow Plunger 5 Panto Pan (Transverse flexibility of panto pan by pulling transversely at middle of cross member with 50 kg force. Displacement of the pan at the middle cross member should not exceed 36 + 5mm.No.

Register arm tube. looseness. Entanglement can also takes place during an accident. Recently. A study was undertaken by RDSO to analyse them and suggest measures to avoid their recurrence. a number of cases of panto entanglement have been reported by Railways.95 1.main line . 2.25 M – 0.0 EQUIPMENT 9 .35 M Horizontal No displacement 150 – 700 mm 0.turn out / cross over Register tube Register arm dropper clip Track separation at obligatory point 4.75 M.3 M Free movement OHE Representative PANTOGRAPH OHE ENTANGELMENT (TC 19) 1. contact wire.0 INTRODUCTION 1. dropper clip splices.main line (Tangent / Curve track) Contact wire stagger-turn out/cross over Steady arm length of contact wire .60 + 0.Sr.8 M to (5. jumper Steady arm vertical movement No hitting mark.) 0.02)M 50 mm above main line Position at which horn of pantograph jumped over contact wire Vertical height of steady arm contact clamp from register arm Should not jump Steady arm. 0. PG clamp. breakage or crack LOCO Representative LOCO(OP) Representative Push off – 200/300 mm Pull off – 200/ 300 mm 300 mm (max.No.turn out/cross over Contact wire stagger. OBSERVATION 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 ITEMS OF CHECK ACTUAL STANDARD Contact wire height – main line Contact wire height .1 Entanglement of pantograph with OHE normally takes place due to mechanical problems either in the OHE or with the pantograph. dropper.

Plunger sticking/broken. 10 . Study of the Panto entanglement carried out reveals that loosening breakage of components of the pantographs results in OHE entanglement. hard-drawn grooved contact wire is simple polygonal type regulated OHE with 1000 KgF tension for catnery and 1000 KgF tension for contact wire. On trunk routes for high speed operation... The design of the pantograph is such as to cater to the above .0 ANALYSIS OF PANTOGRAPH OHE ENTANGLEMENT 3. The mid span sag for 72 meter span is 50mm. 3. it is 300 mm. 2. Interaction between the rail and the wheel and 2. The stager of the contact wire on streight tracks in 200 mm and on curves. Further. The factors which contribute to these shocks and vibrations on these pantographs are: 1. 2.1 It has been observed that the entanglement of the pantograph with the OHE is due to mechanical problems on either of these equipments.1 The majority of pantographs presently in use on 25 KV AC Electric Locomotives.2. The pantograph components which are likely to cause the entanlgements are:-       Fixing bolts of the current collector strip loosening.3 The pantograph is subjected to shock and vibration transferred to it due to movement of the vehicle on whcih it is mounted. EMUs are of Faiveley type AM12 or simialr design. A limited number of Faively type LV2600 and AM92.2 The present 25KV AC OHE system on Indian Railways with 65 mm sq. catnery and 107 mm sq. The Faiveley design of pantographs have a single collector bow while the SMC and Secheron pantographs have two bow design with independent suspension. the pantograph is also subjected to air drag on the bow assembly. Between loco body and bogie. Fixing studs projecting above the current collector strip. and SMC type BR23LE/WBL85 are also in use. Use of improper design of grease pan. the mid span sag provided is 100 mm. Longitudinal tube breakage. Top mounting assembly breakage.

1998 giving details of the Grease Pan to be used with the pantograph.86. RDSO/ELRS/SMI/201 dtd. 4. The remedial measures for these have been advised to sheds and shops for compliance. 4. WAM4/150 dated 21. 3. checking the current collector strip material/profile and fixation etc. Lubricants to be used and periodicity of lubrication so as to arrest cracks and sometimes breakage of the components.3.4 Cases of pantograph coming in the unwired section and extending beyond maximum limit resulting in entanglement have also been reported. WAG5/29 dated 9. servo motor throttle valve. grease pan as designed by the original equipment manufacturer has been replaced by a plate bolted below panto pan and extending on either side for carrying grease. checking correctness of the horizontality of the pan. RDSO/ELRS/SMI/192 dated 12.0 REMEDIAL MEASURES ADOPTED The remedial measures adopted for ensuring satisfactory performance of the pantograph in service and avoid entanglement with the OHE are detailed as under:- 41 SMI No. 4. 4. RDSO ELRS/SMI/198 dated 24.97 Covering general maintenance check to be carried out on the pantograph. use of improper lubricant.98 for provision of a rubber bush inside the open end of the longitudinal tube to prevent seepage of water entry into the tube resulting in rusting and consequent breakage.0 CONCLUSION 11 .04. Provision of stopper arrangement to prevent the pantograph extending beyond maximum limit has already been introduced vide RDSO modification sheet No. delay/not carrying out timely lubrication of moving components.3.06.4 SMI No.1998 giving lubrication schedule for critical components of the pantograph such as plunger box.3 It has also been observed that on some of the Railways. 29.3 SMI No. water entry in the longitudinal tube etc. Railways have been advised to use the grease pan as per the design of the original equipment manufacturer only and not adopt any local modification on the same. These instructions cover proper balancing of the pantograph.2 The probable reasons for the loosening/breakage of pantograph components are inadequate maintenance. articulation system etc.05.2 Modification Sheet No. 3. 5.3. Usage of this plate results in increase in the upward force on the panto pan particularly at higher speeds which may lead to the panto pan hitting the stay arm.

12 .With the implementation of the above remedial measures. instances of pantograph OHE entanglement are expected to be minimised.

13 .

14 .

15 .

16 .