What is EN50155 for railway applications?

This article aims to summarize the most important requirements that apply to power supplies when they are considered a component in railway applications.

Although there are many standards to consider when installing electronic equipment on trams and trains, we will focus on EN50155.

Premium has a wide range of DC/DC converters and DC/AC converters specifically designed to comply with EN50155 standard

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Most relevant standards

To name a few, here are the most relevant standards for power electronics applied in the railway industry.

IEC-60571 | EN-50155: Electronic equipment used in train cars
IEC-61287-1 | EN-61287-1: Transducers on board railway cars – Part 1: Characteristics and test methods
IEC-60850 | EN-50163: Supply voltage traction systems
IEC-62236-3-2 | EN-50121-3-2: Electromagnetic compatibility – Part 3-2: Railway cars – Device
IEC-62236-4 | EN-50121-4: Electromagnetic compatibility – Part 4: Emission and immunity of the signaling device and communications
IEC-62497-1 | EN-50124-1: Insulation coordination – Part 1: Basic requirements – Clearance and crawl distances for all electrical and electronic equipment
IEC-62498-1 | EN-50125-1: Environmental conditions of equipment – Part 1: Equipment on board railway cars
IEC-61373 | EN-61373Train wagon equipment – Shock and vibration tests
EN-45545-2: Fire protection on railway cars – Part 2: Requirements for the fire conduct of materials and components

Enter the railway certificate

EN 50155: 2017 is a European standard covering electronic equipment used in railway cars for railway applications. It is equivalent to the international IEC-60571 and covers aspects such as temperature, humidity, shock, vibration and other parameters. A copy of the standard can be purchased from authorized standardization bodies.

Trains are becoming more advanced from a technical point of view and from a passenger point of view, as additional information systems and critical safety equipment come together. Electrical systems and functions, such as onboard monitoring sensors, climate control systems, lighting and door openings, are powered by the train’s battery system, which is typically located inside a monorail locomotive, at the front or rear of the vehicle.

For the installation of electronic equipment, it must comply with certain requirements related to environmental factors such as: shock, vibration, power supply, electromagnetic compatibility, overvoltage, electrostatic discharge and transients that may occur during use.

What are the requirements for the electronic equipment of the rolling stock?

These systems must be robust and able to support heavier use than a standard on-board computer, if they are used for telematics, engine control or other important functions of the vehicle. The standards are based on the requirements that rail car systems must operate 24/7 for 30 years without failure. Therefore, railway control systems must be designed to withstand the worst environmental conditions. It is also important that the systems do not interfere with each other when installed in close proximity, as there is often limited space in the control panels, so equipment can be installed close to each other.

Basics of EN50155 . Standard


Systems must be able to operate over a wide range of temperatures, from -40°C to +85°C, although only some parts must cover this temperature range for 10 minutes at startup. The power supply must operate efficiently (85% or more) to reduce power consumption over a wide range of voltage and voltage conditions, as well as have thermal management in place.

shock and vibration

Shock and vibration requirements are stringent for systems entering a rugged environment such as railway cars. This requires a separate standard (EN 61373). Shock and vibration requirements fall into three categories: trolley-mounted, trolley-mounted, and axle-mounted.

power supply

On trains, critical and emergency systems are fed by batteries to ensure their function during a supply failure. Standard rail battery voltages are: 24, 36, 48, 72 and 110 volts. The battery voltage should range from -30% to +25% with variations of ±40% for 100 ms, rises up to ± 1 kV and power interruptions of up to 20 ms. Therefore, energy sources are important components and must be very strong to withstand the said conditions.

Electromagnetic interference

The EN50155 standard uses the EN50121-3-2 standard (railway applications, electromagnetic compatibility, railway cars). This refers to requirements that ensure that a device does not produce noise levels that may interfere with other nearby devices.

In this other article we talk about electromagnetic interference with a particular white paper.

At Premium PSU, we have a wide range of DC/DC converters and DC/AC converters specifically designed to comply with EN50155 standard. We also have extensive experience developing custom designs to ensure protection and quality in the harshest environments.

Download the Rail Solutions brochure.

This article was originally published by Premium Power Supplies.

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