Pantograph/overhead line test laboratory

Article: Pantograph/overhead line test laboratory

Contact force, dynamic response, simulations, etc.

Our test laboratory utilises state-of-the-art, proven measuring equipment when conducting standard measurements and carrying out individual, customised measurement services:

Accredited test procedures

Our testing laboratory in Munich is accredited by the German Accreditation Body GmbH (DAkkS) for examantions of pantograph-systems in accordance with DIN EN ISO / IEC 17025 in the area of EN 50317 for

  • Contact force measurements
  • Uplift measurements
  • Arc detection measurements

See the appendix for the accreditation certificate.

DB Systemtechnik is QMS certified to the ISO 9001 standard.

The detailed and latest list of activities/test procedures in the flexible scope of accreditation in the testing laboratory "Pantograph/ overhead line" can be found in this PDF:

Prüflabor Energietechnik - Aktuelle Liste Prüfverfahren im flexiblen Akkreditierungsbereich (Stand 07.09.2022)

Our tests and test quantities


Analysis up to 350 km/h on pantograph test stand
DB Systemtechnik has a state-of-the-art pantograph test stand. 
This test stand can be used to reproduce and analyse the mechanical properties of a pantograph under real-world conditions at speeds of up to 350 km/h.

Validation of pantograph measurement systems

  • Testing of contact force measurement systems connected to the pantograph
  • Basis for approving the measurement system for acceptance runs
  • Basis for approving overhead line inspection systems

Generation of pantograph simulation models

  • Coordination of model parameters based on dynamic measurements with the pantograph in the test stand

Analysis of the effect of modifications to the pantograph

  • Facilitation of a pre-selection of optimised solutions without the need for test runs

Development of new measurement systems and pantograph or pantograph control systems prior to conducting measurement runs

Our simulations

Computer simulations EN 50318 for contact and uplift forces

DB Systemtechnik uses a powerful simulation application to analyse the interaction of the pantograph and overhead line as part of development activities or approval procedures.

By leveraging the simulation results obtained, processes can be implemented to optimise individual components or conduct weak-point analyses quickly and without the need for elaborate test runs. The PrOSA simulation software used is validated in accordance with EN 50318, whereby the results of the simulation exercise are compared to actual measurements taken.

Thanks to the high level of flexibility afforded by the program, the different parameters of the pantograph and overhead line as well as their physical properties can be configured exactly as required.

Overhead line

  • Development of new overhead line constructions
  • Further development of existing chains


  • Development and optimisation of pantographs
  • Approval of new rail vehicles (combination of test runs and simulation exercises)
  • Development of algorithms to control active pantographs in real time

Overhead line/pantograph interaction

  • Investigation and analysis of dynamic correlations
  • Investigation and determination of system-relevant borderline cases (maximum speed, maximum number of pantographs, influence of pantograph spacing)

Our special measuring vehicles
More informations here!

Our stationary test bench

We have a pantograph test stand. More informations here

Video of pantograph measurement between Fulda and Burgsinn:

Copyright Video: Marcel Glaser, DB Systemtechnik