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Railway earthing - technical information

Short-circuit current strength

Which materials and cross-sections are sufficient?

To obtain approval from DB Netz AG, it must be proven that all components are short-circuit-current-proof (RIL 997.0205A01).

The following parameters are used:

Ik’’ ≤ 25 kA: test current of 25 kA, duration of 100 ms
Ik’’ > 25 kA: test current of 40 kA, duration of 100 ms

Short-circuit current ≤ 25 kA > 25 kA
Earthing conductors laid in open space Cu 50 mm2
Fe 95 mm2
Steel cable
Cu 70 mm2
Fe 120 mm2
Steel cable
Earthing conductors laid in concrete Cu 70 mm2
NYY-O or H07V-K
Fe 120 mm2 Cu 95 mm2
NYY-O or H07V-K
Fe 200 mm2

These points must be observed:

Bare steel conductors, embedded in concrete

  • Structural reinforcement steels must not be used as earthing conductors.
  • Statically required components must not be used as earthing conductors.
  • Welding earthing parts to the structural reinforcement is not permitted.

When laid in concrete

  • Parts of the earth-termination system must be checked before concreting.
    This is done by an approved inspector or qualified electrician.
    This partial acceptance must be documented.
  • For series-produced precast concrete parts, the check is carried out during technical acceptance.
  • In case of individual concrete production, the check is carried out directly at the manufacturer's premises before concreting.

Concrete-embedded joints 

  • Concrete-embedded joints must generally be welded to be short-circuit-current-proof. The defined welding seam lengths and thicknesses must be observed:

    Welding seam length
    In case of short-circuit currents ≤ 25 kA at the installation point, a length of at least 2 x 30 mm is required - in case of short-circuit currents > 25 kA, a length of at least 2 x 45 mm is required.

    Welding seam thickness
    To avoid a reduction in cross-section, an effective welding seam thickness of 4 mm is required.

Have you got any questions? Contact us.

Technical support

Phone: +49 9181 906 1750

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