Simplified rail connectors from HARTING increase safety and service life

How can high-current interfaces for the exterior of rail vehicles be designed so they are simple to install, durable and easy to maintain? To answer this question, HARTING has developed the VarioShell, TrainPowerLine and High-Performance Transformer Connector (HPTC) products, which are based on the High-Pressure Railway (HPR) standard. These products offer simpler installation processes alongside increased reliability, reduced complexity and improved interoperability.

HanĀ® HPR: Developing the reliable

Following requests from manufacturers for connectors to supply power above 4 kV in the underfloor area, the train car transition and secondary-side connection of transformers were the starting points for development work. Previous solutions in transformer connections relied on housings made of plastic, which last only a few years under the harsh conditions on the roof of the rail vehicle. So HARTING devised an entirely new durable, pluggable solution with the High-Performance Transformer Connector (400, 850 or 1400A). Thanks to housings designed according to the HPR standard, a significantly longer service life can now be achieved.

TrainPowerLine: Easy installation, extended service life

For cable-based power supply in the underfloor area, the industry standard UIC 552 been in place for decades and comprises several different connector types. The input and effort required for installation, including hard wiring at the carriage transition, is considerable and uses up valuable working time. The new HARTING solution reduces working time thanks to pre-assembly. The TPL is entirely prefabricated and ready for use; only the single poles, with which the underfloor cables are equipped, still needs to be crimped on the train. The overall complexity of the supply structure also decreases as only two connector variants are required instead of five. This reduces the number of components used, saving weight, simplifying handling and making the TrainPowerLine more future-proof and sustainable.

VarioShell: Maximum freedom for interface design

Connections between rail vehicles are maintained by jumper cables. HARTING has developed the VarioShell, a flexible housing consisting of two parts that can be separated. This creates an open system that both simplifies assembly and allows quick access for maintenance and repair.
Existing interfaces for inter-car connection involve a variety of systems according to the supply requirements of the application and are placed in the most convenient location. The VarioShell provides developers with the maximum design freedom by bundling these jumper transitions together, meaning they only need to determine the number of cables and VarioShells required.

This fixed framework can be filled with a virtually infinite variety of interfaces, contacts and insulating bodies (monoblocs and modular connectors) as required. Thanks to this flexibility, the VarioShell is becoming the new standard for jumper wiring, significantly reducing the total number of interfaces in the railcar coupling area.

All three HARTING solutions combine quality and durability with simple design and convenient, simple installation. They are also user-friendly, providing consistent and reliable processes during assembly, installation and maintenance. In most instances, the number of stocked parts is reduced, thereby lowering costs. Product safety is also enhanced, given that fixed wiring is no longer required. Moreover, simple, repeatable processes also eliminate typical error patterns.

To learn more about the VarioShell, TrainPowerLine and High-Performance Transformer Connector, please visit or email us via

By using this website you agree to accept our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions