The article considers the processes of current collection in the system of AC electric traction in high-speed traffic. The existing devices of pantograph and catenary interacting by means of a sliding electrical contact are presented. The comparison of solutions with different horizontal geometry of the contact wire, which affects the speed of the lateral displacement of the contact wire at the catenary supports relative to the axis of the railway track, is given. It is shown that the speed at which the contact point moves along the pantograph strip is also important for assessing the wear of the sliding contact, as is the span length of the catenary supports, the curvature of the track and the speed of the train in the span limits. For the synthesis and analysis of the pair "pantograph strip - contact wire" with a sliding contact, a model for calculating the contact surface is obtained and the energy processes leading to wear of the components of the current collection system are considered. The results of modeling the interaction of the pantograph and the catenary with various variants of the zigzag arrangement of the contact wire are obtained. When implementing a technical solution in areas with high-speed traffic, the preferred method proposed in the article is the arrangement of the contact wire of a chain suspension with a zigzag period increased by two times compared to the traditional one. This solution provides a reduction in the speed of lateral displacement and increases the dynamic stability of the pantograph, reduces the cyclic load on the supporting and supporting structures of the catenary and increases the life of the contacting elements of the current collection system during high-speed traffic.