Railway infrastructure maintenance

Electrical connections to tracks: Railway infrastructure maintenance

December 12, 2023

Railway infrastructure maintenance transport in Spain stands out for its exceptional efficiency, safety and maintenance.

Statistics support the confidence of millions of passengers, consolidating its position as a fundamental pillar of transportation in the country.

Mediciones seguridad Puesta a tierra
Our country has a railroad network of 15,652 km in length|Data from the Ministry of Transportation

Every year, millions of travelers rely on the railroad for their journeys, consolidating its position as a backbone of public transport in Spain and in much of the modern world. Punctuality and efficiency are highly recognized values that contribute to the constant preference of passengers for this means of transport, but above all, safety.

Punctuality, Efficiency and Safety are key in railway infrastructures.

Behind track safety is a meticulous maintenance program where Rail Infrastructure Maintenance, approved companies and connection systems play a key role in maintaining safety at all times. From infrastructure to electrical connections, every component receives the necessary attention to ensure a smooth ride.

Conexión a carril Elpa KLK
Transit of people at a subway stop | Photo: Bank image

Electrical rail connections:

Based on the technical specification E.T. 03.364.005.3 marked by Adif, we can define two types of connections for the rail connection system to support traction currents as follows:

Aluminothermic welded connections (Class SA) and traditional electrical welded connections (Class SE) more about Adif here

Aluminothermic welding plays a fundamental role in infrastructure maintenance.

The electrical connections of conductors to rails in traffic control, signaling and traction circuits, the use of aluminothermic welding joint systems allow greater control over the joint while ensuring its durability.

Under the same pattern of use we could make connections of flanges, cables or bolts either between flange, skid or head all of them by means of molecularly perfect joints and that would allow us in an easy, fast and safe way their control by means of visual periodic maintenance and by means of the use of equipment specialized in ohmic measurements.

Aluminothermic Welding Kit. Advantages

Conexión a carril brida KLK
Example of flange to rail connection | Photo:Dani Rendueles

Exothermic molecular welds stand out by establishing connections virtually free of electrical resistance, maximizing the efficient transmission of electricity and reducing energy losses. When choosing the type of connection or KLK Weld Kit, it is crucial to consider the type of track and the connection area, taking into account country-specific regulations and particular needs, whether for signaling, grounding or interconnection in wings, skids or heads.

Our systems such as InDuo, Elpa Rail or the traditional KLK weld kit offer specialized solutions. For example, the Elpa connection is ideal for high-speed tracks, as the weld is made through an intermediate plate, avoiding direct transmission of the temperature generated in the exothermic process and ensuring a perfect and unique use.

In other situations, we opt for KLK InDuo Kits for bimetallic connections, adapting to various needs.

Our systems not only superficially protect the connections, but also contribute significantly to the durability of the railway system. Degradation persistence becomes the norm with aluminothermic welded molecular connections, ensuring long-term durability and reducing the need for maintenance. This advanced technical approach sets new standards for strength and reliability in rail connections.

If you still have doubts about which equipment to use or where to use, we leave you a small guide about the type of equipment we recommend depending on the recommended applications:

Conexión Cable Carril KLK weld
Typical connection examples | Photo: KLK weld
    • High Speed Track Joints: Aluminothermic welding ensures solid structural integration without compromising safety or inducing premature degradation, optimizing durability and efficiency. Recommended system Kit Elpa rail.
    • Intersections and Rail Switches: In critical areas of the rail network, aluminothermic welding offers advanced technical solutions for solid and durable connections, adapting to various types of tracks and metals. Recommended system InDUO Kit.
    • Multi-metal connections: The versatility of aluminothermic welding excels in applications requiring connections between different metals, ensuring exceptional strength and durability. Recommended system InDUO Kit.
    • Fatigue Sensitive Points: In areas with material fatigue, aluminothermic welding is strategic, contributing to prolonging the useful life of connections and optimizing operational efficiency in railway infrastructures. Recommended system Elpa Kit/ Basic KLK weld kit.

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