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Head End Power Connector Products

From Northwest Rail Electric

Phone: (503) 231-4808, Fax: (503) 230-0572, E-mail

What is Head End Power?

We have a brief description of head end power elsewhere on our web site. HEP is a system of providing power on railroad passenger cars.

The following connector products

are distributed by Northwest Rail Electric for use in the Head End Power market. They are used to provide electrical connections on cars, locomoitves, or for station to car or locomotive applications.

These rugged, single molding head end power connectors from Clements National are approved for use on cars that are designed to be compatible with the Amtrak Head End Power system.

General Information

HEP Fixed Jumpers

Fixed jumpers are the parts of the HEP system that are connected to the car at one end and serve as the jumper by plugging into the receptacle on the other car:

Part Number Coding:

MPA - X - XXXX - VO1
1 2 3 4
  1. MPA = Molded Plug Assembly. Plug = the part that plugs into the receptacle. Ingerally molded plug assembly with female contacts
  2. Type of plug assembly:
  3. XXXX - Denotes tip to tip length in inches. Standard stock length is 85 inches or 0085
  4. VO1 - Denotes custom modification

Fixed jumpers may be ordered with the AMP # 326803 lugs crimped on the end of the wire, as required by Amtrak HEP standards.

HEP Power Receptacles

Receptacles are the parts of the HEP system that go inside the HEP receptacle housing (below) and are not visible when the system is in operation. The receptacle housings (see below) are the parts that are visible:

Part Number Coding:

MRA - X - XXXX - VO1
1 2 3 4
  1. MRA = Molded Receptacle Assembly. Receptacle = the part that has no extension wires. Integrally molded receptacle assembly with male contacts
  2. Type of receptacle assembly:
  3. XXXX - Denotes wire tip to mounting flange length in inches (Not Applicable to MRA-H Units, Wire Tip to Mounting Flange applicable only to single ended receptacles). Standard stock length is 24 inches or 0024. Other lengths are available but are almost always long lead time.
  4. VO1 - Denotes custom modification

Receptacles may be ordered with the AMP # 326803 lugs crimped on the end of the wire, as required by Amtrak HEP standards.

Northwest Rail Electric also has available HEP Mounting Pates that will position the HEP receptacles on the end of the car in the required Amtrak and APTA locations.

HEP Receptacle Housing

The part number for this housing is MRA-H, and the receptacle (shown above) fixs inside, with the flange on the rubber housing fitting an indentation on the housing.

These receptacle housings are made of durable aluminum, and are equipped with spring loaded lids that hold the plugs in place. The lid also keeps the contacts from been damaged, and helps ensure long connector life.

The standard color is red (shown at right), but other colors have been produced and are possible given sufficient quantity are ordered.

Portable HEP Jumpers

An explanation of the part numbers used for HEP jumpers and extensions:

MPA  - 2 - XXXX - VO1
MRA  - 2 - XXXX - VO1
MPRA - 2 - XXXX - VO1
1 2 3 4
  1. Integrally molded double-ended cable assemblies. Types available:
  2. 2. - Double Ended cable assembly (portable)
  3. XXXX - Denotes tip to tip length in inches over the body of the connector, as seen in the diagram below
  4. VO1 - Denotes custom modification

Standard length for extension cables for Wayside Power (Yard Power Systems) is 25 feet.

Communications and MU Parts

While not specifically part of the head-end power system, addition of communications and multiple-unit cables to passenger cars is usually done at the same time, if it is desired. Comm connectors are required for Amtrak compatibility, but MU is only required on certain routes. To that end, Northwest Rail Electric has a number of standard Comm and MU parts used in converting passenger cars to Amtrak compatible operation. We do not usually stock the locomotive cable lengths for receptacles and jumpers, but we do sometimes have that material as well. As our market is almost entirely railroad passenger cars we are rarely asked about these parts for locomotive use and therefore do not stock the required parts.

Standard Comm and MU receptacles.

Standard Comm and MU jumpers.

Some of our common Comm and MU parts include:

our Part #                 Description
CPA-2760AMTK    Clements COMM Jumper, 60 inches

CRA-141P        Clements MU/Comm Grommet

CRA-27-AMTK     Clements Comm Receptacle

CRA-27-MUBK     Clements MU Receptacle

CRA-27180-AMTK  Clements Comm receptacle, 180 inch leads
                AMTRAK # WWRF27AMTK-L180

CRA-27180-MUBK  Clements MU receptacle, 180 inch leads

CRA-42S         Clements MU/Comm Jumper Pins

These are the parts usually required for converting a passenger car to HEP and allowing it to operate as a private car in Amtrak service. Northwest Rail Electric also has available mounting boxes for COMM and MU. See the bottom section of our HEP Mounting Pates page.

The following items may be of interest if you are working with HEP systems:

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