Connectors for communications between rail locomotives and vehicles

Posted By : Enaie Azambuja
Connectors for communications between rail locomotives and vehicles

TE Connectivity has introduced MU27P connectors to ensure control and communication connections between railway locomotives and vehicles. The 27-point plugs and receptacles (including dummy receptacles) allow a single point in the train to issue up to 27 commands to all or some of the vehicles simultaneously. These connectors convey signals such as door controls and indications, public address, brake applied/released indications, as well as audio and other passenger rail functions.

They are designed to accept three 10AWG leads with all the other leads being 12AWG or 14AWG. This allows the connectors to be completely interchangeable with other brands adhering to the Association of American Railroads (AAR) standard AAR-S-512 specification. Silver plating on the crimp contacts ensures excellent electrical contacts.

“These high-quality units are intended mainly for North American rail vehicles, but they also can be used elsewhere in the world,” said Dyon Bogaarts, global product manager for rail terminals and connectors at TE Connectivity.

“They comply with the American Public Transport Association’s (APTA) PR-E-RP-019-99 standard covering 27-point jumper and receptacle hardware, as well as the AAR standard AAR-S-512 on locomotives and locomotive interchange equipment, with additional European Rail connector verification against a selection of tests based on NF F 61-030 (railway rolling stock - electrical connectors - generalities).

Plugs and receptacles have aluminum shells with highly durable coatings in five vibrant identifying colors: black for control, blue for communication, white for AEM-7, red for communication commute, and yellow for dummy receptacle.

Different mechanical features built into the design of each type of plug and receptacle make it impossible to connect one type of plug with a different type of receptacle. Each plug has a 'shark fin' that helps retain it in the receptacle and prevents connection interruptions. The units also have a break-away coupling system.

The connectors’ high resistance to salt spray ensures long lifetimes in the field. They also have good resistance to low and high temperatures, with an operating range of - 40 to 110ºC (- 40 to 230ºF). They have a current rating of 30A and are designed for a service voltage of 600VDC.

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