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HEP connector rated at 600 volts 400 amps

Private Car HEP Conversion

Parts required for installation of Amtrak style Head-End Power (HEP)
Available from Northwest Rail Electric

This is a list of the parts and hardware required to install Amtrak-compatible head-end power onto a railroad passenger car. The lengths of wire listed here are for a typical installation, and is subject to change due to the length of the car. Our head-end power parts brochure, available in the PDF Files section of our web site, also contains a list of these parts, as well as other helpful information.

This list is for those wanting to convert a car to full Amtrak HEP compatibility. For tourst railroad use only, it is possible to have a HEP system with reduced capacity with fewer parts, and thus less cost. Such cars are unable to operate in Amtrak service, but if such service is never planned for the car then full Amtrak HEP compatibility is not necessary.

The parts listed here only install the wires under the car, and assume that the rest of the car is up to adequate standards electrically. If you are doing a complete upgrade of the car, you will probably also want to have an electrical locker package, such as our NW-25100 or similar package, which includes the HEP main breaker required by Amtrak. You may also wish to look at our heating and air conditioning products as you may need to upgrade or replace the heating and air conditioning system.

Item # Quantity Required
For Typical Full
(Amtrak-style) HEP
Northwest Rail
Electric Part #
14MPA-1SR-0085480 Volt Fixed Jumper
HEP Fixed Jumper
24MRA-1-0024480 Volt Receptacle, 24 inch leads
HEP Receptacle
34MRA-HClements 480 Volt HEP Receptacle Housing
HEP Receptacle Housing
Red (right) is the standard color.
44CRA27180AMTK27 point Communication Receptacle, 180 inch leads
COMM and MU Receptacles
51CPA-2760AMTKClements 27 point Jumper
61NW16289480 volt HEP Junction Box
72NW-COMJCTBX-SS27 point Junction Box (stainless steel)
824NW8007Insulating Sleeve (or "Splice Boots")
Large wire splice insulating sleeves
950 (1) (2)914008Standard HEP Neoprene
#4/0 Wire Cleat
1. Please Note: In the past some sellers have sold these cleats in halves, doubling the quantity required. Northwest Rail Electric sells cleats by the entire cleat - two halves.
1075 (2)NW4008CStandard Cleat Clamp Plate for #914008
1124ZB-20#4/0 Cord Grip
1272326803AMP #4/0 AWG Lugs, 3/8 inch 2 Hole
Large wire lugs
131,100 ft. (2) (4)W-10.6KV#10, 27/24, 600 volt wire
141,600 ft. (2) (4)W-12.6KV#12, 19/25, 600 volt wire
15500 ft. (2) (4)T-75051#14/2, shielded wire
161,000 ft. (2)T-75053#4/0, 2,000 volt wire, American Association of Railroads 591
174HPMTGPLHEP Mounting Plate
Mounting Plate for HEP Receptacles
188ZB-9Control Wire Strain Relief
19 (3)4 (3)1-HEP-0026 (3)Comm / MU Mounting Box, Single Opening
COMM or MU Receptacle Mounting Box, Single Hole
MU Option (MU is only required for cars on certain Amtrak routes):
20 (3)4 (3)1-HEP-0027 (3)Comm / MU Mounting Box, Double Opening
COMM or MU Receptacle Mounting Box, Double Hole
214CRA-27180MUBKClements MU Receptacle - 180 inch Leads
221CPA-2760MUClements MU Jumper - 60 inch
2. Please Note: Approximate quantity. Please call or email and tell us a bit about the car, cable routing and other information for better estimate of likely car requirements.
3. Please Note: Substitute four of 1-HEP-0027 for the four 1-HEP-0026 if both MU and Comm are to be added to the car.
4 Please Note: Adding MU to the car also requires approximately double the quantity of the smaller gauge wire sizes listed here.

The Following Parts are NOT Included in the Above List:

  • Conduit: electrical conduit is available anywhere. It will be required in a number of situations, including around the HEP power cables above the trucks (open air is required elsehwere), and to hold MU and COMM cables.

  • Metal Hardware:The Northwest Rail Electric HEP connector mounting plate (Northwest Rail Electric # HPMTGPL) listed above holds the HEP connectors in place, but additional metal may be required to put the connector in the correct location. The exact hardware required depends on the car design. Additional metal may also be required to hold the wire cleats in the correct location under the car, and the requirements here also depend on the car.

    Electric Locker PackageThe parts listed above only convert a railroad car to HEP compatibility in terms of the car to car electrical system. To convert the interior car electrical system to operate off of the HEP system, additional changes will need to be made, depending on existing electrical equipment inside the car.

    For converting a passenger car electrical system and HVAC system to head-end power (and most of our customers want to do a complete upgrade on their cars), Northwest Rail Electric also offers various HVAC and electrical system packages that may be required if converting the entire car to operate off of the HEP system. These products include:

    If you are considering converting a car to HEP, please give us a call to find out more about how Northwest Rail Electric is able to help you meet your requirements.

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