06. March 2009

Survey tram commissioned in Dresden

Anne Bentfeld, Central Area Manager, Publications and Communications at the HARTING Technology Group, in the driver’s seat of the survey tram in Dresden.

HARTING supplies connectors, Ethernet switches and cabling solutions for pioneering research project

The survey tram that will be operating with immediate effect on normal local passenger routes in Dresden is the brainchild of the Institute of Railway Vehicles and Systems headed by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael Beitelschmidt at the Technical University of Dresden. The pioneering project has been launched jointly with HARTING and other industrial partners, together with local public transport operator Dresdner Verkehrsbetriebe. Over a period of at least five years, the survey tram will for the first time provide a long-term picture of the stress and strain imposed on these vehicles in normal operation.

The recorded measurements will include mechanical factors that will enable engineers to build future rail vehicles that are quieter and more comfortable, as well as electrical factors that will help to make vehicles safer and more energy-efficient. The joint and to date unique project offers advantages for all concerned: The University is benefiting from the opportunity to give students hands-on experience of an ultra-modern vehicle operating in continuous service. And the industrial partners and the public transport operator are gaining long-term data that will enable them to improve the design of their components and modules.

The support provided by the HARTING Technology Group in the form of connectors, cables and network technology represents a central contribution to public transport research. HARTING Technology Group head Dietmar Harting hopes to use the findings of the survey tram project to support the ongoing development of products for the transportation sector: “We shall be integrating the results of these measurements directly into the ongoing development of our Han® HPR connectors. This will enable us to tailor the testing and development of our future connector solutions even more precisely to actual demands.”

In addition to the partners involved in the project, some high-ranking figures in Saxony’s political landscape were present when the vehicle was commissioned last Thursday. The HARTING Technology Group was represented at the event by Britta Rohlfing, Market Manager Transportation, Melanie Fehrler, Human Resources Development Manager, and Anne Bentfeld, Central Area Manager, Publicity and Communications. After a brief introduction to the project, the guests had the chance to satisfy themselves that the survey tram is up to the job as they embarked on an excursion through Dresden’s sunlit inner city. Public transport operator Dresdner Verkehrsbetriebe had also planned a special surprise. After just a short while, it was time to change drivers: Under the expert supervision of a driving instructor, both Professor Michael Beitelschmidt and Anne Bentfeld, Central Area Manager, Publicity and Communications at the HARTING Technology Group, settled themselves in the driver’s seat and piloted the tram through Dresden’s afternoon traffic.