Energy efficient heating systems for snow melting and ice prevention of rail switch points

Lead Participant: Heat Trace Limited


This project will develop, for snow melting and ice prevention of rail switch points, an electric heating system which will require less energy than conventional switch point heaters. This new heating system will be have 4 elements: a self- regulating semi-conductive polymeric heater, an advanced intelligent control system, a thermal insulation system and a dual power supply (mains or solar). Concept testing and thermal heat transfer calculations indicate energy savings of 75% and a 30 to 50% reduction in product life cycle costs. In addition, the new heating system cannot burnout and hence is safer than current technology. This would give Network Rail potential energy cost savings of £9.9 million per year and a carbon footprint reduction of 52,000 tonnes of CO2e per year. This technology could be utilised in other rail heating applications such as heating of the third rail, overhead cables, bridges, tunnels, platforms and under-floor heating.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Heat Trace Limited, FRODSHAM £495,551 £ 205,597


Orange Box Control Limited, Sunderland £94,647 £ 39,243
Innoval Technology Limited, Sheffield £100,076 £ 41,431
University of Birmingham, United Kingdom £115,990 £ 115,990


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