French firm Nexans has won a contract from France’s national rail operator SNCF to design and build a specialised rail cable with the new Core-Tag anti-theft cable technology.
Nexans will deliver earthing cable with a lead-sheathed copper conductor with a 25mm² cross-section from its facilities in Mehun-sur-Yèvre in France.
Upon delivery, the cable will be installed on the network infrastructure in four of the regions maintained by Réseau Ferré de France (RFF).
If a cable is stolen, the insulation, which can be used to identify the owner, is burnt off the cable, just leaving the copper conductor.
Nexans vice president of marketing infrastructure and industrial projects, Jean Fehlbaum, said that the company is working with many customers to develop solutions that can help reduce copper theft that addresses serious safety and operational issues for railway networks.
"However, we believe the Core-Tag technology offers excellent potential to make rail cables less attractive to steal, as well as providing the wider copper supply chain with new tools to identify when stolen copper comes into the eco-system," Fehlbaum said.
The new Core-Tag anti-theft cable technology developed by Nexans includes a coded fire-resistant copper tape that is intertwined in the conductor.
With the dot-matrix markings on the coded tape, the owner of the cable can be identified even after the insulation has been burnt off.
The Core-Tag can be viewed by cutting the cross-section of the cable; about 25cm of the cable needs to be opened in order to read its identification code.
Nexans said the Core-Tag cables are easy to manage and install and it is impossible for thieves to remove the tape embedded along the length of the conductor.