Ethernet cables are a vital element onboard rolling stock to provide effective and efficient data connections for a variety of control, security, passenger safety and entertainment devices. These include CCTV/safety supervision, driver advisory systems, diagnostic systems, monitoring equipment for performance and power consumption. At Innotrans 2018, Nexans is showcasing its new FLAMEX® cable range for Category 6A, 7, 7A that has been designed to address the increasing demand for bandwidth in rolling stock and specifically in the passenger railway market.

Traditional onboard cabling uses Ethernet CAT 5 with different cross-sections depending on the requirements of each rolling stock manufacturer. However, nowadays train operators are faced with a growth of onboard data traffic resulting from enhanced WIFI systems as well as interactive technology for making seat reservations, intelligent door display systems, passenger information provided on high definition screens, and luggage monitoring. Futhermore, customers’ expectations regarding mobile phone and internet access on board as well as entertainment and multimedia access adds more pressure on train operators in terms of customer service. Due to this trend, FLAMEX® CAT 6A to 7A cables with higher performance rates are being introduced to the railway market to improve passenger comfort and journey experience.


The backbone of data transmission in new platforms is mainly designed with Ethernet CAT 7 cables whereas the cable looms for local networks inside coaches are locally designed with Ethernet CAT 5 quads that are faster to install, lighter and smaller for tight bending. To support its rolling stock customers in this transition, Nexans offers the latest generation of FLAMEX® CAT 7A cables alongside the traditional CAT 5 cables. While data transmission speed of Ethernet CAT 5 cables is limited to 1 Gbps, Nexans FLAMEX® CAT 7 cables for rolling stock can support upto 10 Gbps, bringing customer experience to a whole new level.

Nexans FLAMEX® cables meet the electrical requirement of IEC 61156-6. To ensure easy installation, the cables are fully compatible with connectors designed for rolling stock projects, such as X-coded M12 connectors. Furthermore, the easy-to-strip insulation and sheath also allow to simplify and accelerate installation and connection of cables.

FLAMEX® cables are designed for a long service life and feature a braided shield and cable sheath for protection against EMC and harsh operating conditions such as heavy vibration and abrasion. They have a working temperature range of -40°C to +85°C. Moreover, FLAMEX® cables comply with the highest fire safety requirements, meeting fire hazard level 3 (HL3) required by the EN 45545-1 and -2 standards (fire retardant, halogen-free, low smoke). HL3 is the highest level of the classification system for fire protection on board and with the highest demand for the materials used.

To know more about the current trends and developments in global rail, infrastructure and rolling stock, please download Nexans white paper here.