Significant space savings and a weight reduction of several hundred kilos per train have made HUBER+SUHNER’s lightweight, thin-walled RADOX® Tenuis-TW cables the first choice for Swiss manufacturer Stadler’s large-scale contract with SBB.

Stadler Rail is delivering 29 new eleven-unit trains for the Swiss railway company to operate on its high speed and transalpine routes from Zurich to Milan, including the prestigious new Gotthard Base Tunnel route.

SBB is gearing up for faster, safer, more comfortable transport on its transalpine routes with its new EC250/Giruno trains, the first of which are due to be operational from mid-2017 and come into service from December 2019. The trains are designed to offer an exceptional passenger experience to all travellers, business and leisure, including families, elderly and disabled passengers.

"The demands of high speed travel and the environment in the Gotthard Base Tunnel create new requirements on rolling stock," said Reto Jaeck, sales manager railway at HUBER+SUHNER. "In the world’s longest and deepest transport tunnel, temperatures are significantly higher and passenger trains could reach 250km/h, so the rolling stock must meet stringent safety standards, including additional requirements for fire safety.

Also, SBB had set key indicators for the overall weight of each train. With many kilometres of cabling in each railway carriage, the weight of the individual cables can contribute significantly to this overall target and this is where HUBER+SUHNER came in."

Stadler Rail chose HUBER+SUHNER’s RADOX® Tenuis-TW thin-wall cables because their lighter weight provides significant improvements in the overall weight transported. At the same time the cables have a smaller diameter that conventional 3GKW 600V cables, allowing substantial space savings, for example, in the cable trays and cabinets. HUBER+SUHNER is the single source supplier for all signalling cables for the contract and is also supplying power cabling, all from its RADOX® railway cable range.

By choosing the Tenuis-TW cables Stadler Rail will be able to save several hundred kilos per train compared to the 3GKW cables. In addition, the cables take up less space than 3GKW cables, achieving a 30% saving in the cable trays, around 0.3 cubic meters or 10.6ft³ per train. This is particularly useful in leaving space for later installations if required, but the ability to reduce the size of the trays themselves also produces both space and weight savings in each carriage.

Commenting on the choice of HUBER+SUHNER as partner for the contract, Sandro Dobler, Stadler Rail’s head of project creation and electrical installation, said: "HUBER+SUHNER already had products that matched the specifications required for both signalling and power cables for the EC250/Giruno trains. We chose HUBER+SUHNER as our supplier because of the weight and space reductions we could achieve through using the Tenuis-TW product range, the company’s many years’ of experience in the railway market and its proven product portfolio."

HUBER+SUHNER’s range of RADOX® Tenuis-TW cables is already fully developed and has been extensively tested to railway standards and specifications, including all the key fire safety and stress testing requirements. The cables are insulated with RADOX® EI 306 electron-beam cross-linked material and RADOX® EM 104 sheath material. HUBER+SUHNER has already developed a reputation for these RADOX® insulation and sheath materials, as they are particularly resistant to chemical, electrical and mechanical loads and do not melt, even at extremely high temperatures.

The cables are extremely robust and perform consistently and reliably, guaranteeing a long life and therefore minimising life-cycle costs. They also meet the strict environmental requirements of EN 50306 and all the fire safety specifications of EN 45545-2, DIN 5510-2, NFF 16-101 and NFPA 130.