Friday, August 10, 2012

2012-03-27 Unidentified purpose unit (possibly for inspection of catenary cable)

10:00 AM: This strange contraption was spotted coming out of Bellville station on the Wellington line.

It appeared to be brand new - note the absence of any identification marks or numbers. It may have been on its way to a different region of the railway network

My personal guess is that it is some kind of inspection unit for the overhead catenary cable. It seems that a video camera is visible in the window just behind the pantograph assembly. Apparently a strong light (white item) is mounted on the top backside - this would also be used to flood the catenary.
There is also an "upper" level - note the ladder giving access to the top floor.

Your welcome to provide more information ...


  1. Hi. This is electromagnetic wire rope inspection.

    The principle of the magnetic flux leakage (MFL) test.
    Various types of sensors,such as coils, Hall sensors or fluxgate sensors close to the rope sense and measure the magnetic flux. Any discontinuity – such as a broken wire or corrosion pitting – distorts the magnetic flux in the rope and causes it to leak from the rope. This leaking magnetic field is then detected by the induction coil.

    They are basically checking if the wires is still in good order. Strange to see that here in SA. This is a method of Non Destructive Testing (NDT)

  2. The company I work for built this inspection car.