By jointly pressing the red button Pier Eringa (CEO ProRail) and Roger van Boxtel (CEO NS) officially opened the catenary simulator developed at Delft University of Technology. By pressing the button the device came literally to life and the combination of actuators, sensors and computer let the pantograph under investigation experience a typical catenary system.
As is explained by Evert van Veldhuizen: “the device is designed to research several aspects of pantograph-catenary interaction. In this way the device will be a tool for future researchers and engineers and allows for various researches, i.e. the development of improved catenary structures, extra-ordinary pantographs (like the rolling pantograph currently being developed at TU Delft, or active pantographs), diminishment of hard-points, but can also play a role in the admission of pantographs on the Dutch railway system.”
After a year of construction the opening ceremony is an important milestone and first tests can be performed. Nevertheless, the development has certainly not come to a standstill and various new features will continuously be installed, making the device even more realistic.