Nexans makes major strides to support the North American railway industry

New products are now available

Nexans holds a leading position throughout most of the globe in railway wire and cable products. But until recently, Nexans was only a minor player in the North American market. Nexans North America has spent the last two years extensively expanding its product portfolio to service the local market and now offers regionally-manufactured railway cables that meet the local standards required. 

“We’ve undertaken a lot of development efforts in the last two years to build our railway product offering,” stated Kevin Hamilton, Transportation Industry Business Development Director for Nexans North America. “Nexans is now focusing on improving North American train control and railway communication by providing top-quality power and signal cables.” 

In fact, several Nexans’ North American facilities have invested in new capital equipment and developed new products and product certifications:

Trolley wire for overhead catenary
Trolley wire (also called Overhead Contact Line or OCL) – used to power electric trains or trolleys that connect to the hard-drawn copper or alloy conductor overhead -- is now available to Nexans customers. Nexans’ trolley wire is manufactured out of our Copper Rod Mill location in Montreal. 

Traction power cable
Traction power cable, which meets various fire performance and safety standards, is another product used to power electric trains, including light-rail and subway systems via a third rail. Power is provided trackside through a combination of low and medium voltage cables. Nexans also offers these cables, which are produced by our El Dorado, Arkansas facility, in multiple cable constructions to suit the application.

AREMA-compliant signal cable
Nexans’ signal cable from our El Dorado facility is tailored to meet exact requirements for your application. The AREMA (American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association) specification indicates that cables can be customized to have various qualities, including:

  • Direct Burial for underground usage
  • NFPA-130 Compliant Low Smoke Zero Halogen (LSZH) materials for use in tunnels in an aerial configuration
  • Armor options for additional ruggedness


It takes more than 12 months to complete dielectric material testing (which tests insulation) to conform to AREMA’s exacting standards for long-term aging, heat deformation, cold temperature flexibility, water permeability as well as a multitude of environmental and electrical performance requirements. 

This cable is also NFPA-130 compliant, which is required for use in tunnels and other confined spaces where people will be riding, embarking or disembarking trains. NFPA-130 compliance ensures that products are flame resistant and will emit a minimal amount of smoke that can cause additional harm during fires.

Train control cables
Our El Dorado facility offers a wide array of cables for the growing Positive Train Control (PTC), Communications Based Train Control (CBTC) and Automatic Train Control (ATC) systems being installed throughout North America. These systems are advancements in rail safety and help to improve traffic efficiency.

Fiber optic cables
Looking for connectivity within tunnels? Nexans North America manufactures and sells fiber optic cables that are NFPA-130 compliant to meet the stringent requirements for tunnel use. These cables are manufactured at our Fuquay-Varina facility in North Carolina.

“As cities around North America become more populated, the demand for urban transit and rail between municipalities continues to grow,” states Joe Dymek, Commercial Director OEM & General Industry of Nexans North America. “The Nexans’ North American Industrial Solutions and Project team is committed to providing resilient cables and technical expertise needed by transit authorities.”

Population growth is triggering large investments by cities in railway expansion and modernization throughout North America. To support these investments, you can look forward to additional exciting railway developments from Nexans North America in the months and years ahead.