Railroad Switch Heaters

Freeze prevention is essential for smooth, safe railway traffic, wherever winters are cold. If switch points can be set and the tracks are kept free from ice and snow, trains remain on track and on time. A reliable, energy efficient electrical trace heating system with intelligent monitoring control achieves just that. Rather than wait in the cold, commuters reach their destination punctually. And the train service arrives as it should.

The requirements: optimised heat transfer from the heater to the rail or point, the best possible energy efficiency, simple and fast assembly and minimum maintenance, easy accessibility by assembly to the outside of the rail or change point. In addition, a thermally insulating cover minimises heat loss and offers protection from damage.

Freeze Prevention on

  • Rails
  • Power rails
  • Change points

Schematic diagram of the El-Track system

The EL-Track System for Power Rails

Power and control system, the complete electrical rail trace heating and easy-to-fit clamps constitute an integrated system for safe operation covering many miles of rail network: It was this eltherm solution that convinced Washington‘s Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (WMATA). The task: freeze prevention on the power rails. This avoids interruptions in the power supply caused by ice and snow. The project started with the Potomac Yard infill station in Alexandria on the Blue and Yellow Lines, followed by the Silver Line, a 23-mile (37 km) extension that links Washington Dulles International Airport to the network.

An integrated solution with an extensive power and control monitoring system was developed with the renowned US specialist MC Dean. The compact, flexible constant wattage heater design adapts easily to any rail profile. Fitted easily with assembly clips, the system minimizes gaps and provides maximum heat transfer to the rail. A specially developed, unique thermal insulating cover profile reduces heat loss and improves heat transfer directly to the top of the power rail.

Used Products

Technical benefits

  • All-in-one power and control plus heating system
  • Optimised heat transfer
  • Fast and easy assembly
  • Low maintenance requirements

Project scope

  • 370 km (230 mile) power rail heating
  • 770 heating circuits
  • 28 control stations




Taking care of your processes

In good hands 24/7

We make sure that your processes run smoothly. We check safe function of the EHT system and conduct maintenance and repair – wherever and whenever. This saves you costly down times.

Find your solution now!

We are here for you

Contact Person

Thomas Stuff

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

Phone: +49 2736 4413 8155

Franklin Dondjio

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

Phone: +49 2736 4413 8159

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

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


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