Highly sensitive electronic systems can be found in many railway buildings and systems, including, but not limited to signalling and control systems:
- Electronic interlockings
- Optical signalling systems
- Level crossing safety systems
Buildings, systems and the associated electronic equipment, however, are vulnerable to lightning strikes and other electromagnetic sources of interference. Damage is caused both by direct lightning strikes (for example, in overhead contact lines, tracks or masts) and indirect lightning strikes (for example, in an adjoining building). Indirect lightning strikes cause induced surges and partial lightning currents.
In addition, surges caused within a railway system have to be considered. In this context, a distinction is made between switching overvoltages (typically in the microsecond range) and temporary overvoltages. These temporary overvoltages can last for several seconds or even minutes until the railway system is disconnected by railway-specific protective devices.
In the majority of cases, damaged or destroyed conductors, interlocking components, modules or computer systems lead to the interruption of railway operation and time-consuming fault localisation. As a result, trains are delayed and high costs incur. For these reasons, a consistent lightning and surge protection concept harmonised with the relevant system including external lightning protection and equipotential bonding measures is required. Thus, downtime and the resulting expensive interruption of railway operation can be reduced to a minimum.
Thanks to its experience in lightning and surge protection over decades and intensive research on railway power supply systems, LSP offers customised overall protection concepts with comprehensive solutions and innovative products. An extensive safety equipment portfolio rounds off the range of products.