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GCF Electrification:
Omnia system cantilever

Omnia: a single System Cantilever for all lines

The Omnia Cantilever is the only one capable of meeting all the needs and applications in the electric traction field.

Based on 40 years of practical experience in the railway infrastructure field and analysis of the typical problems of traditional horizontal tubular supports, the Omnia support structure was designed and built as a permanent and innovative solution for any type of overhead electric traction line.

The Omnia Cantilever installation took place on 10 June 2009 (during a daytime interruption) on the Piacenza-Pontenure section of the traditional Milan-Bologna Line.

Today, the Omnia support structure - in compliance with the requirements of all major railway operators - is built and installed for catenary systems of all kinds:

  • Traditional 3 kV DC railways,
  • AV/AC 25 kV AC railway lines,
  • Urban transport lines - trolley bus, subway, tram.

Omnia: born to innovate

GCF: Mensola OmniaThe Omnia System is a highly innovative product that integrates into any suspension system to simplify it and improve performance.
Omnia was developed on the basis of certain fundamental principles:

  • Optimisation and simplification of geometry
  • Compliance with current European interoperability standards
  • Transit speeds of up to 250 km/h (Omnia for 3 kV DC lines)
  • Transit speeds of up to 360/400 km/h (Omnia for 25 kV DC lines)
  • Use of innovative materials and reduced environmental impact
  • Optimisation of the number of components and couplings between them
  • Easy use for variations of geometry
  • Application versatility with any type of overhead contact line and any track geometry
  • Resolution and optimisation of various issues affecting Catenary systems: Critical Curve radii, Abnormal Lifting and Sliding Areas, Resistance to Rotation, etc.


Upholding these principles enabled the Project Team create an innovative product capable of ensuring continuity between 3 kV DC and 25kV AC lines that until now was actually inconceivable. Continuity as regards materials and systems ensures simplicity, cost savings and better management of emergencies.

Omnia System Cantilever: the new standard is simplicity

  • Omnia Cantilever: lightweight
  • Omnia System: simple
  • Omnia Cantilever: powerful
  • Omnia: Unique
  • Omnia Cantilever: lightweight

    Omnia Cantilever: lightweight and durable

    Omnia is made of Al Si 1 mg 0.9 Mn 0.7 aluminium alloy (EN AW-6082 T6) in conformity with EN 586-2 specifications.

    Durability is virtually “eternal", even in the presence of particularly aggressive atmospheric environments such as salt water, that do not affect the physical quality of the material.
    Aluminium alloy ensures a very high strength to weight ratio. This quality is further enhanced by optimised design of sections that are particularly exposed to stress.

  • Omnia System: simple

    Omnia System: simple

    The Omnia Support Structure differs from conventional systems in that fewer components are used - only 4, that are coupled using only 6 special self-locking bolts.

    • Support Structure Profile (1);
    • Pole Tie Rod - Support Structure with Macro-Adjustment and Precision Adjustment (2);
    • Load-bearing insulator / Cable Carrier Bracket (3);
    • Contact Wire Arm with related contact wire tie-rod (4).

    This simple geometry complies with the European Interoperable Pantograph Design Criteria for transit speeds up to 250 km/h (Omnia 3kV) or 360-400 km/h (Omnia 25kV).

  • Omnia Cantilever: powerful

    Omnia Cantilever: versatile and powerful

    The Omnia System - thanks to the design of the 4 components in the suspension structure - ensures maximum elasticity in response to variations in cable dimensions from a maximum of 1,400 mm. to a minimum of 350 mm. (the limit imposed by observing Pantograph Design requirements).

    The Omnia system easily solves all issues related to lifting the contact wire, thanks to the high radial loads in curves generally having a radius lower than or equal to 500÷600 mm.
    In addition, all suspension equipment components were designed to meet the most varied operating conditions together with different track geometries.

  • Omnia: Unique

    Omnia Support Structure: Unique

    The AV / AC railway lines in Italy are equipped with 5 Macro-Type Inclined Strut Systems, each divided into further special types that are not interchangeable.

    The adoption of the Omnia AV/AC type Support Structure can:

    • For existing AV systems: reduce the current 46 types of Inclined Strut Suspension envisaged to just 6 types of Omnia AV/AC Structure Systems.
    • For new AV systems: reduce the current 92 types of Inclined Strut Suspension envisaged to just 6 types of Omnia AV/AC Structure Systems.

Omnia System Cantilever: advantages compared to conventional suspension systems

Omnia = Not so heavy

Omnia = Not so heavy

All storage, pre-assembly, transport and assembly operations are facilitated.
Omnia = Lower consumption

Omnia = Lower consumption

Omnia helps increase tensile loads and reduces contact wire wear by 67%. Savings in maintenance are self-evident.

Omnia = Stronger

Omnia = Stronger

High mechanical strength and low sensitivity to temperature excursion for the best performance in harsh environments.
The oxidation layer that forms naturally on aluminium is protective in nature and not corrosive, unlike the case for applications in steel (rust) which often prevents even simplest maintenance tasks.
Storage is also easier and less expensive, since inventory in stock does not deteriorate.

Omnia = Zero environmental impact

Omnia = Zero environmental impact

The Omnia suspension system if fully recyclable.

Users and buyers can reclaim some of the purchase costs and eliminate the costs usually incurred for disposal of steel suspensions.
Omnia = Fewer components

Omnia = Fewer components

Only 4 components and only 6 bolts for a single type of screw: Omnia allows an evident time savings right from the pre-assembly stage and facilitates assembly operations.

Assembly of Omnia support structures only requires one wrench: no time is wasted looking for the right tools and the risk of accidents is also significantly reduced.

Omnia = A single type of cantilever

Omnia = A single type of cantilever

A single support structure covers every type of system, power supply and insulation equipment.
This ensures exceptional optimisation in the management of stocks of spare materials as well as interchangeability between stocks for lines.
Training of maintenance personnel is also made easier since multi-purpose skills are acquired.

Omnia = Better emergency management

Omnia = Better emergency management

Geometric simplicity, harmonised and interchangeable components means that emergency work can proceed very quickly thanks to the direct installation of a definitive rather than temporary suspension. This ensures lower costs and reduced train downtime in the management of emergency maintenance.
Omnia = Faster

Omnia = Faster

Characteristics such as simplicity, low weight and fewer components ensure an additional, appreciable benefit in terms of time savings (hours/man) for the assembly, installation and adjustment of Omnia support systems: 70% less compared to conventional suspensions.
Information about Omnia

Information about Omnia

The Omnia System Cantilever is made by GCF - Generale Costruzioni Ferroviarie in partnership with Omnia Group.
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