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Ansys EMA3D Cable vs. Ansys EMA3D Charge: Electromagnetic Hazards on Rail Assets 

Railroad assets commonly share corridors with power and transmission lines, some over increasingly long spans. The currents flowing in these lines can cause significant risks to signal equipment and personnel, especially when adding new circuits or increasing line loading. EMA has extensive experience in helping to identify, address and mitigate these types of situations, aided strongly by simulations performed in EMA3D Cable and EMA3D Charge.

Any time railroad tracks and transmission lines run near parallel, there will be coupling between the two. When faults occur in these areas, they can cause significant damage to signaling equipment and become safety risks. Many shared corridors exist in remote areas, so personnel risks are generally limited to rail employees/maintenance, etc. In congested areas, this is even worse. When transmission lines carry high currents in their normal operating modes, it can pose dangerous touch voltage risks and cause different failure modes in signaling equipment.

EMA3D Cable analyzes the 3D coupling between transmission lines and rail assets. Knowing these currents and voltages, we can determine, using Charge, the risk of arcing between components and the effects of these high transients at the boxes that are paramount for safety.

What you will learn 

  • How interference and hazards happen and the potential risks
  • How EMA3D Cable and EMA3D Charge can simulate challenging railroad interference problems and hazards
  • What mitigation approaches exist, and how to evaluate possible fixes


Justin McKennon, Principal Scientist I., Electro Magnetic Applications


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