Damage to the overhead line can be dangerous
Proper grounding is essential for the safe operation of a rail infrastructure. People and objects in the vicinity of the railway should not be electrocuted if they accidentally come into contact with live parts. This can happen as soon as the overhead contact line is damaged and the contact wire breaks. Rails, steel and reinforced concrete bridges, tunnels or conductive components on and above platforms such as railings must therefore be earthed.
The railway grounding includes a current-proof connection between all conductive components, the return line and the entire grounding at the substation. This connection must be short-circuit current-proof, since operating current and short-circuit currents are passed through it. In the event of a fault, the overhead line must be switched off quickly.
Fallen trees are not the only cause
The railway grounding is important all year round – not just during the storm season. The causes of damage to the overhead contact line are not exclusively trees and branches. Accidents with construction site vehicles or wagons with high superstructures can also tear the contact wire. In addition, defective pantographs on the trains themselves or simply material fatigue can lead to dangerous situations.