Railroad Switch Point Heating

No more ice on rails: Arrive safely thanks to frost protection

Rail traffic has to run smoothly even in snowy and cold winters. With rail transport it is not only about getting a lot of people to their destinations on time but also providing everyone's safety. 

Frost protection is indispensable for trouble-free and safe rail transport. After all, it ensures that switch points remain movable and all tracks remain free of snow and ice. 

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Clever design and features

The EL-Rail cable consists of six serial resistance heating cables with an outer sheath of silicone and a moisture-proof fluoropolymer insulation. The heating cable is attached to the rail by means of a cover profile and an individual holding bracket.  

In addition to constant heat distribution, high robustness and the smallest possible number of power supply points, the dominant features of this system have many other technical advantages. 

More energy efficiency thanks to optimized heat transfer

With the EL-Point heating cable, eltherm has developed a particularly efficient and intelligent solution. Compared to conventional flat rod heating elements, our flexible trace heating systems offer network operators technical, economical and logistical advantages.  

By means of the versatile adaptability, any unevenness is compensated. This enables a better heat transfer from the heating cable to the rail. As a result: The rail temperature increases at comparatively lower power output. 

Save operating costs with intelligent control

The EL-Point is insulated by means of a cover profile and attached to the outside of the stock rail on the rail web. The rail web serves as a radiator to keep the space between the stock rail and the switch rail free of snow or ice. This saves energy costs.  

For comparison: A flat heating rod is located inside the stock rail on the rail base. Due to the uncontrolled heat radiation, it requires a much higher power for the same effect. Since the meter performance is determined by the specifications of the operator, it is identical for both variants. 
 
With an intelligent control system, it can be regulated much more precisely. The control of the point heating system makes a decisive contribution to energy efficiency. These savings ensure lower operating costs. 

Energy-efficient heating cable on conductor rails

EL-Track offers control, rail heating and fixation in one system, for safe operation even over long distances. If there is ice on the conductor rail, the current absorption into the power unit is disturbed and the train stops.  
The system is based on a compact, flexible parallel heating cable. The fast assembly clip ensures seamless and safe transfer to the conductor rail. Meanwhile, a unique insulating profile reduces heat loss to the environment. 

Switch Point heating: installation, power output and control

The installation of eltherm heating cables and their versatility make electric point heating a universal solution. Heating capacity and system size can also be adapted to individual requirements. 

All components are maximally robust and corrosion-resistant with a long service life and minimal maintenance requirements. The energy of a railway heating system can be supplied from overhead lines or public power network.  

The power supply for the railway heating system is provided by a transformer. A power of 18 - 20 kW is usually sufficient for standards medium size switch points. 

Sensor stations (in most cases fixed to the main track) can also detect rainfall, ice, ambient temperature and humidity so that the control is weather-dependent and thus energy-efficient.  

FAQ

As soon as current flows through the heating cables, the heating resistor inside heats up and heat is generated. The power supply for the railroad switch point heating system is provided by a transformer. According to Ohm's law, the heat output depends on the resistance value and the electric current flow, and thus in turn depends on the voltage applied. For power control, several resistors can be connected in parallel or in series. The electric point heating system, consisting of heating cables (EL-Point, EL-Track), is insulated with a cover profile and mounted on the outer side of the stock rail on the rail web. The rail web serves as a radiator to keep the space between stock rail and switch rail free of snow/ice.

Due to the multifunctional adaptability of our heating cables (in contrast to conventional flat heating rods), any unevenness is compensated for and a better heat transfer from the heating cable to the track body is achieved. The rail temperature increases at comparatively lower power output. By means of intelligent control, the system can be regulated much more precisely. Sensor stations, usually fixed to the main track, can also detect precipitation, ice formation, outside temperature and humidity so that control is effected in accordance with the existing weather conditions. The result: high energy efficiency that translates into lower operating costs.

The heating pipe is mounted directly to the rail with a cover profile and an individual retaining clip.

Products used

EL-Rail

Control and Monitoring

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Contact Person

Thomas Stuff

eltherm GmbH (Headquarters)
Ernst-Heinkel-Straße 6-10
57299 Burbach
Germany

Phone: +49 2736 4413 8155

Frank Vogel

eltherm GmbH (Headquarters)
Ernst-Heinkel-Straße 6-10
57299 Burbach
Germany

Phone: +49 2736 4413 8158

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Phone: +49 (0) 27 36 / 44 13-0

Fax: +49 (0) 27 36 / 44 13-50

E-mail: info@eltherm.com

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