Skip to main content

Han® HPR VarioShell & Co.: High performance required

Denny Hellige
Denny Hellige
Installation Technology, HARTING Electric
Han® HPR VarioShell

How can high-current interfaces for the exterior of rail vehicles be designed so that they are convenient and simple to install, durable and easy to maintain? To meet these requirements, HARTING has developed new high-current interfaces based on the High Pressure Railway (HPR) standard. The result is the VarioShell, TrainPowerLine and High Performance Transformer Connector (HPTC) products. They impress with their robustness, reduced complexity and improved interoperability. Given that simpler installation processes increase power supply reliability while offering considerable savings potentials, the new solutions are also recommended for use beyond the railway sector.

Han® HPR: Developing the reliable

Requests from manufacturers for connectors for power supply above 4 kV in the underfloor area, the train car transition and the secondary-side connection of transformers were the starting points for development work. With regard to the transformer connection, previous solutions relied on housings made of plastic, which can lead to durability of only a few years under the harsh conditions on the roof of the rail vehicle. Here, HARTING has devised an entirely new pluggable and durable solution with the High Performance Transformer Connector (400, 850 or 1400A). Thanks to housings according to the HPR standard, significantly longer service lives are achieved compared to plastic housings.

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 a number of different connector types to date. The input and effort required for the installation, including hard wiring at the carriage transition, is considerable. The current processes take up valuable working time in their final completion. The new HARTING solution reduces such efforts 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 have to be crimped on the train. The complexity of the supply structure decreases as only two instead of five connector variants are required. At the same time, the number of components used is likewise reduced, components weight is lower, while handling becomes easier. The simpler the interface assembly, the safer the execution. Fault patterns disappear, the service life rises. Simpler solutions are more future-proof and sustainable.*

Varioshell: Maximum freedom for interface design

Connections between rail vehicles are implemented as jumper cables. HARTING has developed the VarioShell as a flexible housing consisting of two parts that can be separated. This creates an open system that both simplifies assembly, while also allowing quick access for maintenance and repair (by opening the cover). Existing interfaces for inter-car connection involved a variety of forms according to the supply requirements of the respective application and are placed at the most convenient location. The VarioShell bundles these jumper transitions: In future, developers will only have to determine the number of cables required between vehicles and the scope of their services. This in turn results in the number of VarioShells required. The housings only have to be distributed over the wagon wall according to their function.

The VarioShell provides developers with maximum degrees of freedom. It provides a fixed framework that can be filled with a variety of interfaces as required. A virtually infinite reservoir of contacts and insulating bodies (monoblocks, modular connectors) is available in the HARTING portfolio for this purpose. 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.

Cross-Sector Solutions

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


Due to their simplicity and durability, the new solutions can also optimally meet the demands for interfaces ensuring a secure supply of data, power and signals over and beyond the railway market. Comparable requirement scenarios exist, for example, in the maritime technology, tunnelling and open-cast mining markets. With regard to the maritime market, the Han®HPR housings offer the advantage that their use is already DNV/GL certified. Thanks to the housing technology, all requirements for a safe use of the power interfaces at sea are therefore fulfilled.

* In order to maintain flexibility, it is necessary to opt for interfaces to the UIC 552 area at the beginning and end of the train unit.

Recommend article

Eingeschränktes HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.