VGE1 ELIO and 838 ELIO: Fiber Optic Technology for on Board Railway Applications

SOURIAU, which has 40 years of expertise in fiber optics technology, has 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 as well as new entertainment applications like passenger real-time information, broad-band web access, or high definition video-monitoring are requiring ever increasing data transfer rates. Fiber optics, already a field-proven technology in harsh applications like aeronautics, oil & gas production or military vehicles, is the solution to meet these new needs. Over the past years, fiber optic cables have been utilized in railway signaling along tracks for long distance transmission as well for high data rate needs since they are not affected by electro-magnetic interferences. Now that Ethernet has become a standard for on-board communication, rolling stocks tends to embed more and more fiber optic connectivity, even in the harshest locations, such as inter-vehicle. Weight saving 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 will eventually be released. 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 8-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 a high reliability level. ELIO® is very easy to implement, to terminate (unclear) 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 is  the solution to handle the most stringent environmental and mechanical conditions, like damped heat, extreme temperatures, vibration at low frequency as well as shocks, hundreds of mating cycles, and exposure to typical railway fluids and lubricants.

ELIO®´s fiber optic technology successfully meets railway standards for a reliable and easy-to-use connectivity solution and gives confidence to operators as well as train and equipment manufacturers.



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