Go to content

Certification of Overhead Catenary is latest step towards delivering Europe’s fastest railway

HS2 will become the first high speed railway in Europe equipped with overhead lines powering trains to operate at 360km/h.

Marking a significant milestone in the electrification of HS2, the SNCF V360 design range, developed specifically for HS2, has been certified as an Interoperability Constituent under the European Technical Specifications for Interoperability (TSI). 

This builds on the experience of SNCF Réseau, who HS2 has been working with.  SNCF Réseau have previously achieved TSI certification for its Overhead Catenary System (OCS) design ranges for new high speed lines in France at 350km/h, such as the extension of the Bretagne-Pays de la Loire line from Le Mans to Rennes and the extension of the South Europe Atlantic line from Tours to Bordeaux.

To achieve this, the SNCF Réseau design team successfully balanced the tensile load between the conductors whilst maximising the distance between supporting structures. This means less steel and concrete will be used in the construction of the OCS than originally planned, reducing the overall cost and environmental impact. 

Through its licence contract with SNCF Réseau, HS2's Phase 1 contractors will be able to go to the components market to find the most competitive supplier, opening up opportunities for the UK supply chain to compete.

HS2 Ltd track and power director Richard Watts said:

“Certification illustrates our determination to deliver the highest standards of design and innovation on HS2. It is one aspect in delivering an extremely reliable railway upon which millions of people will come to depend. 

“Our licencing agreement now gives flexibility for componentry for HS2 to be procured from the most competitive suppliers – opening the opportunity for UK-based firms to bid for contracts.”

Christian Courtois, Director of the Electric Traction Department at SNCF Réseau, said:

“SNCF Réseau is very proud of this project which enables HS2 to benefit from our 30 years of experience of the French high speed system.  A combination of experience and innovation should ensure high level performance for HS2 in terms of speed, optimised life cycle costs and traveller satisfaction.”

Press and media enquiries

For accredited journalists only you can contact our press and media team using the number below.
0207 944 6149