DEHN protects railways
DEHN protects the railway infrastructure

Minimise system downtime and disruptions

The smooth running of railway technology depends on the proper functioning of a great many highly sensitive, electric and electronic systems. However, this continuous availability of the systems is at risk. Lightning strikes or electromagnetic interference damage or destroy lines, interlocking components, modules or computer systems. They often lead to operational disturbances and time-consuming troubleshooting. This means delayed trains and high follow-up costs. 

Reduce costly disruptions and minimise system downtime. With a comprehensive lightning and surge protection concept tailored to your special requirements.

Reasons for damage

These are the most common causes of disruptions, system downtime and damage:

  • Direct lightning strikes
    Lightning strikes overhead contact lines, tracks or masts. Operational disruption or system downtime are usually the result.
  • Indirect lightning strikes
    Lightning strikes a nearby building or the ground. Overvoltage is then distributed via cables or inductively induced, damaging or destroying unprotected electronic components.
  • Electromagnetic interference fields
    Overvoltage can occur when different systems interact due to their proximity to one another, e.g., illuminated sign gantries over motorways, high-voltage transmission lines and overhead contact lines for railways.
  • Railway internal causes
    Switching operations and triggering fuses are an additional risk factor. They can also generate surges and cause damage.

Protection concepts - Product recommendations

You can find the right products to protect your system here

  • Electronic interlockings

    Signaling and control systems are the brain and nervous system of railways transportation systems. Time and again lightning strikes cause individual components in electronic interlockings to break down. This means late trains and cancellations. DEHN designs and produces comprehensive bespoke concepts for your system. With our help, you can achieve effective lightning and surge protection.

  • Level crossing safety systems

    Modern, fully electronic level crossing safety systems are equipped with efficient control technology. Unfortunately, disruptions of the systems due to lightning strikes are a regular occurrence. Special experiments for level crossing safety systems have been conducted in the DEHN test laboratory. These have proven that the arrester modules and protective circuit of the components in the safety system remain intact even in conjunction with lightning currents of 40kA.

  • GSM-R transmitting and receiving systems

    Radio masts in GSM-R systems are usually situated in exposed locations because of the good transmission range provided there. The risk of a direct lightning strike is, therefore, particularly high. This calls for a professional concept to combat lightning and surges and thereby maximise system availability. Good to know: For many years now, renowned mobile radio companies have been putting their trust in DEHN’s know-how and technology.

  • Railway stations

    Railway stations are the hub of mobility and often also shopping centres with a wide variety of shops and service providers. During thunderstorms, they also provide safe shelter for commuters and other travellers. Take advantage of the comprehensive DEHN product portfolio to establish lightning equipotential bonding and surge protection for all systems and building in compliance with the relevant standards.

  • Electrified track systems

    Protect your employees. It is essential to avoid direct contact with overhead contact lines when working in the track area. DEHN insulating sticks, e.g., for cleaning the windscreens of power cars and locomotives, offer optimum protection here. Another problem is when the overhead contact line is in danger of touching the tracks. The DEHN portfolio includes the lightning-resistant SDS voltage limiting device which earths insulated tracks protecting systems and lives.

  • Railway vehicles

    The use of electronic components in modern railway vehicles has become indispensable. Air-conditioning, electronic seat reservation, reading lights and passenger information and entertainment systems have all become a matter of course. These systems are particularly susceptible to transient overvoltage. We are happy to help you to find a comprehensive lightning and surge protection concept for your railway vehicles.

Tests in the impulse current laboratory

DEHN offers engineering and test services for railway systems in the impulse current laboratory at the DEHN Test Center.

  • Tests on prewired connection units for protecting electrical and electronic systems
  • Lightning current tests on signaling system components, low-voltage distribution boards and system cabinets

Make sure that your systems function even under extreme conditions. This improves your competitiveness.
Read more about "testing the lightning current capability of components" here:


Have you got any questions? Contact us.


Phone: 877-927-6510

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