Bahnerdung - DEHN schützt die Bahninfrastruktur
DEHN railway earthing

Protect people - Ensure reliable rail traffic

Railway earthing includes the entire earth-termination system for all structural components of the railway infrastructure.

The main purpose is to protect people in the railway environment and to ensure reliable rail traffic.


DEHN offers components from a single source.
From railway earthing to building earthing and safety equipment products.

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There are many dependencies and regulations that must be observed for railway earthing. In addition, the object-specific conditions and requirements of the operator must be taken into account for each construction project.

Let us advise you - you will find your personal contact here.

DEHN railway earthing - Your benefits

Use the synergy effects of having a single supplier for 

  • Railway earthing materials according to the RIL 997.02 guideline issued by the German Railway and
  • Building earthing materials according to IEC 62305
Bahnerdung - Komplettes Portfolio für den Ingenieurbau

Civil engineering

DEHN unterstützt Errichter und Zulieferer der Bahn-Infrastruktur

Lightning protection construction

DEHN Bahnerdung - Komplettes Portfolio für den Betonfertigteilbau

Precast concrete construction

"Everything from a single source" -  means that you can obtain railway earthing material approved by DB Netz AG (in accordance with RIL 997.02) as well as a comprehensive range of lightning protection materials and equipotential bonding products here.


DEHN is also the right address if you need surge protection or safety equipment such as protective clothing and components.

A clear advantage when it comes to optimising the processes in your company.

This is why railway earthing is necessary

Railway earthing protects people and equipment in the railway environment. It is necessary to prevent voltage transmission to people on the platform or operating equipment in the event of an incident, e.g. if a contact wire breaks.

Railway earthing means a current-proof connection between all conductive components, the return circuit and the overall earth-termination system at the substation. This connection must be short-circuit-current-proof since operating currents and, in the event of a fault, also short-circuit currents flow through it.

Railway earthing establishes a permanent connection with the return circuit (running rail or return wire) and also reduces the rail potential. However, direct connection with the return circuit is only permitted for AC railways. For DC railways, an indirect connection must be made by means of a voltage limiting device due to the risk of stray currents.

Railway earthing is therefore a fundamental requirement in the overhead contact line zone and current collector zone of tracks.

EN 50122-1 is an important standard for railway earthing concepts. Requirements from this European standard can be found in the regulation "Bahn-Richtlinie RIL 997, Untergruppe 02" (RIL 997 guideline by German Railways, subgroup 02) entitled "Rückstromführung, Bahnerdung und Potentialausgleich" (return circuit, railway earthing and equipotential bonding).

What must be earthed?

Primarily, the following components, systems and equipment must be earthed:


  • Catenary masts
  • Tracks
  • Steel and reinforced concrete bridges above tracks
  • Tunnels
  • Conductive components on and above platforms
  • Noise protection walls
  • Conductive fences (e.g. wire mesh)
  • Earth-termination systems for power supply, signalling and control and telecommunication systems

Which materials and cross-sections are suitable?

The short-circuit strength of railway earthing components must be proven before they are approved by DB Netz AG. This is specified in the RIL 997.0205A01 guideline "Elektrotechnische Anforderungen und Prüfbedingungen von Verbindungen" (electrical requirements and test conditions for connections).

The following test parameters are used:

Ik’’ ≤ 25 kA: test current of 25 kA, duration of 100 ms
Ik’’ > 25 kA: test current of 40 kA, duration of 100 ms

Railway earthing - Product categories

DEHN earthing bridges

Internal, invisible connection

The concrete-embedded earthing bridges are designed for earthing, current return circuits and equipotential bonding. They are used to connect the internal and external earthing.

A connection plate serves as the intersection to the external, visible earthing ensuring ideal contact with the earth connectors.

Connection to the internal, later no longer visible earthing is ensured by a defined welded joint using a steel-copper-plated sleeve.

DEHN earthing connectors

External, visible earthing

Earthing connectors are screwed to concrete-embedded earthing bridges. They continue the invisible, internal railway earthing. For inspection purposes, the screw connection must be accessible from the outside at all times. Steel (or also CuStAl) is particularly suitable for this purpose. Not least to prevent damage caused by theft, which unfortunately is quite common with copper components.


Good to know:
The DEHN railway earthing portfolio also includes products for earthing large pipes - i.e. for partly visible and partly invisible connections.


Have you got any queries? Contact us.


Phone: +91 124 4007680

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