A new Network Rail-approved axle counter cable, developed by Eland Cables, is set to make installation quicker, cheaper and easier than ever before.

The new axle counter cable specification, approved by Network Rail on 20 October 2009, is designed to replace the specification already used for train detection across much of the UK rail network.

The key improvement to the axle counter cable specification is a unique layer of glass fibre, which provides effective protection against rodent attacks. This new layer removes the need for steel tape armour and means the cable is more cost-effective, has greater flexibility, is easier to strip back, install and terminate, and doesn’t require metallic bonding. A thick medium density polyethylene (MDPE) sheath provides a suitable level of mechanical protection.

The new NR-approved specification has been welcomed by engineers looking for greater freedom in their system designs. “Eland Cables has worked hard to create a product that will both reduce installation times for engineers and increase efficiency across the rail network as a whole,” says technical manager Chris Barnes, who has worked closely with Network Rail on the new design. Managing director Philip Brown adds: “As the only UK supplier with Network Rail approval on the new specification, we are proud to be playing such a key role in the future success of our rail network.”