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Special Feature 
Newsletter "SEI WORLD" Vol.453

Rail Transport

Sumitomo Electric operates in three business fields: mobility, energy and communications (ICT). In the mobility field, the Company offers various backbone technologies and product line for rail transport.

The International Trade Fair for Transport Technology (InnoTrans) held every two years in Berlin, the German capital, is a trade fair for companies from around the world making products for rail transport, giving them the opportunity to showcase their leading-edge technologies and products. Last year, Sumitomo Electric set up an exhibition booth at InnoTrans 2014, the 10th edition of the trade fair, to introduce visitors to the Company’s products designed for rail transport. Many potential customers visited the Company’s booth.

This article features some of the products for rail transport offered by the Sumitomo Electric Group.


Hard plastic clad fiber (H-PCF)

Hard plastic clad fiber (H-PCF) is an optical fiber comprising a light-transmitting silica glass core and a plastic cladding that confines the light passing through the core.

Sumitomo Electric’s H-PCF features a large core diameter, which enables the acceptance of a large amount of light and makes it suitable for use with inexpensive optical modules and easy-to-fit “crimp-and-cut” optical fiber connectors. These features make the fiber suitable for inverter motors, power converters, factory automation and other items that support infrastructure and industrial systems.


Departure Boards

Departure Boards

H-PCF is used at station platforms as a data-transmission optical cable to display train destinations and departure times on departure boards. Easy-to-fit “crimp-and-cut” optical fiber connectors are effectively used to complete optical cable installation within a set time between midnight and early morning when no trains are running.

Railway Vehicles (Inverter Motors)

In the drive circuit of the inverter motor that drives a train, the H-PCF transmits control signals (switching signals) from a low-voltage circuit to the high-voltage motor circuit, while ensuring electrical insulation between them.

Vibration-Proof Rubber for Railway Vehicles (manufactured by Sumitomo Riko)

Vibration-Proof Rubber for Railway Vehicles

For railway vehicles, the vibration-proof rubber used to ensure safety and ride comfort is the most important functional part. Sumitomo Riko Co., Ltd., a consolidated subsidiary of Sumitomo Electric, has the largest share of both the domestic and international automotive vibration-proof rubber market.


Sumitomo Riko’s vibration-proof rubber for railway vehicles is widely used in Series N700 Shinkansen vehicles in Japan.

Air Springs

Air Springs

Installed between the vehicle body and the bogie (bogie + wheels), air springs serve as an important component to improve the ride comfort of a train by substantially reducing the vibrations transmitted from the wheels to the vehicle body. An air spring consists of a diaphragm and a laminated rubber part. The diaphragm acts as a spring both vertically and horizontally, while the laminated rubber part is used to make the horizontal motion smoother.


Railway Vehicles (Bogies)

Sumitomo Electric’s air springs are used in various vehicles including Series 700 Shinkansen trains, HSST system trains (Tobu Kyuryo Linimo Line) and the New York City Subway, and are highly acclaimed by our customers.

Trolley Wires

Trolley Wires

A trolley wire is an overhead contact wire situated over railway vehicles and designed to supply electricity to railway vehicles. In 1914, drawing on its years of experience in copper processing, Sumitomo Electric commenced the manufacture and sales of trolley wires. As the leading manufacturer of trolley wires in Japan, the Company ships high-quality trolley wires to railway companies.


Cableway Equipment

Sumitomo Electric’s proprietary high-strength trolley wires are used along the Sanyo Shinkansen Super-Express Line, which has a maximum commercial speed of 300 km/h. Recognizing their performance, the Taiwan High Speed Rail, which opened in 2007, also selected the product for its entire line.

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