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Spatial double-wedge auto-compensated contact mains

Automatically Compensated Spatial-Rhombic Catenary (ACSC) has been designed to increase reliability, reduce construction expenses and operating costs of the existing railway overhead line equipment. ACSC advanced features are especially suitable for railway sections with high traffic density, complex climatic conditions and tunnels. The theory and calculation methods of the ACSC have been developed by Anatoly Demchenko.


The fundamental difference between this type of catenary and the conventional vertically suspended chain-type of catenary lies in the contact and messenger wires being both located in a horizontal plane. In order to reduce substantially the horizontal dimensions stretcher strips are used which are placed between the messenger wires at the middle of the link. This has resulted into reducing the horizontal dimensions by two times. For more information please see Design section.



Improved cost/benefit characteristics


ACSC unique design features offer improved cost/benefit characteristics as follows:

  • increased labour productivity of the maintenance personnel due to significant reduction in required maintenance work,

  • substantial reduction of tunnel, galleries and bridge construction costs due to decrease in the height and dispensing of niches owing to the automatic compensation feature of the ACSC,

  • reduction of the height of the supporting poles due to absence of any vertical studs in the ASCS design,

  • improved reliability in severe operational conditions such as strong winds, very high/low temperatures and ice formation on wires; maximum possible calculated loads will not cause any dangerous deviations of the contact wire from their fixed position,

  • saving of time required to remove possible damages due to significant reduction of the damage zone in case of a rupture of wires


Practical implementation


ACSC design has undergone comprehensive theoretical investigations and practical tests and has been put into regular operations. Presently the ACSC is in operation on a number of open sections of mainlines as well as in tunnels, galleries, on bridges and other fixed line railway structures, including:  


  • tunnels on the Baikal-Amur mainline, including the Severomuisk tunnel, the longest tunnel in Russia (15 km)

  • tunnels in the Caucasus mountain region in Georgia

  • open sections with heavy density of railway traffic in the Moscow and central Russia regions  

Over 20 years of practical implementation of ACSC have demonstrated its high reliability under heavy traffic environment and complex climate conditions. Inspections and measuring undertaken show that the status of the contact wires shows significantly lower levels of local wire wear and absence mechanical defects or burns. Over a number of years of operation no adjustments were needed whatsoever.

T. Demchenko


D-r of Technological Science
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