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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.

         Quantity Required
         For Typical Full      N.W. Rail
Item #   (Amtrak-style) HEP    Elec. Part #   Description

1               4              MPA-1SR-0085   480 Volt Fixed Jumper

2               4              MRA-1-0024     480 Volt Receptacle, 
                                              24 inch leads

3               4              MRA-H          Clements 480 Volt HEP
                                              Receptacle Housing

4               4              CRA27180AMTK   27 point Communication
                                              Receptacle, 180 inch leads

5               1              CPA-2760AMTK   Clements 27 point Jumper

6               1              NW16289        480 volt HEP
                                              Junction Box

7               2              NW-COMJCTBX-SS 27 point Junction Box
                                              (stainless steel)

8               24             NW8007         Insulating Sleeve

9               50  **         914008         Standard HEP Neoprene
                                              #4/0 Wire Cleat
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.

10              75  **         NW4008C        Standard Cleat Clamp
                                              Plate for #914008

11              24             ZB-20          #4/0 Cord Grip

12              72             326803         AMP #4/0 AWG Lugs,
                                              3/8 inch 2 Hole

13           1,100 ft.  **     W-10.6KV       #10, 27/24, 600 Volt

14           1,600 ft.  **     W-12.6KV       #12, 19/25, 600 Volt

15           500 ft.    **     T-75051        #14/2, Shielded Wire

16           1,000 ft.  **     T-75053        #4/0, 600 volt, AAR 591

17              4              HPMTGPL        HEP Mounting Plate

18              8              ZB-9           Control Wire Strain

19 *            4 *            1-HEP-0026     Comm / MU Mounting Box,
                                              Single Opening

MU Option (MU is only required on certain Amtrak routes):

20 *            4 *            1-HEP-0027     Comm / MU Mounting Box,
                                              Double Opening

21              4              CRA-27180MUBK  Clements MU Receptacle -
                                              180 inch Leads

22              1              CPA-2760MU     Clements MU Jumper - 60 inch

*  	Substitute four of 1-HEP-0027 for the four 1-HEP-0026 if both
        MU and Comm are to be added.

**      Approximate quantity. Please call for better estimate of car requirements.

MU also requires approximately double the quantity of the
smaller gauge wire sizes shown above.

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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