SOURIAU VGE1 ELIO and 838 ELIO for On-board Railway Applications

By News Release | February 17, 2014

The SOURIAU VGE1 ELIO and 838 ELIO are based on standard railway product ranges but offer fiber optic layouts.

SOURIAU-VGE1-Elio-021814-NPSOURIAU extended its portfolio with railway fiber optics connectors. Based on its standard railway product ranges VGE1 and 838 series, the fiber optic layouts use ELIO contact technology, in operation worldwide on aircrafts for more than 10 years. VGE1 ELIO and 838 ELIO allow the use of fiber optics for on-board or track railway applications, and are the only optical connectors on the market to be approved by the French national railway operator, SNCF, for on-board application.

Safety and customer service are of utmost importance to the railway industry. Fast-response train control systems, accurate power monitoring, and new entertainment applications like passenger real-time information, broadband web access, or high-definition video monitoring, require ever-increasing data transfer rates. Fiber optics, already a field-proven technology in harsh applications like aeronautics, oil and gas production, or military vehicles, is the solution to meet these new needs.

In past years, fiber optic cables have been utilized in railway signaling along tracks for long distance transmission as well as for high data rate needs because they are not affected by electromagnetic interference. Now that Ethernet has become a standard for on-board communication, rolling stock tends to embed more and more fiber optic connectivity, even in the harshest locations, such as inter-vehicle. Weight savings is also a big concern for train manufacturers, and in this regard, the use of fiber optic cables is a definite advantage.

SOURIAU’s VGE1 ELIO bayonet-lock connector is available in three different layouts and shell sizes — four ELIO contacts, eight ELIO contacts, and 12 ELIO contacts. A two-contact version is expected. These connectors are robust enough to be fitted on train roofs, under train bodies, or just about anywhere else on the outside of trains.

The 838 ELIO connector features a screw lock and an eight-contact layout. A 24-contact version, designed specifically for inter-vehicle connections, will be released in a few months. Both the VGE1 ELIO and the 838 ELIO may also be used for track applications.

ELIO is an innovative optical contact, combining simplicity of use and high reliability. ELIO is very easy to implement, to terminate, and to clean. It is compatible with single mode, multimode, and plastic fiber and provides reliable optical performances in extreme environments.

Combined with highly ruggedized and railway-qualified connectors, ELIO´s fiber optic technology can handle the most stringent environmental and mechanical conditions, like damped heat, extreme temperatures, and vibration at low frequency, as well as shocks, hundreds of mating cycles, and exposure to typical railway fluids and lubricants.

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