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nVent Heating Solutions for Third Rail Electrification

Posted by The nVent Rail Team on Mar 4, 2019 2:07:17 PM

During the recent polar vortex that brought temperatures as low as -60 F through the upper Midwest of North America, there were many news stories highlighting the extreme measures railways take to keep tracks clear of snow and ice buildup. Switches are one of the most critical aspects of rail infrastructure, which is why switch heating solutions are often the focus when describing how railways operate in extreme cold, snow and ice. There are, however, other areas of track infrastructure that equally critical to safety and reliability that railways account for as part of a winter operational plan.

Third rail (also called contact rail), for example, provides electrical traction power that propels rail
vehicles in many types of passenger rail networks throughout the world. Third rail could be susceptible to loss of traction due to snow and ice-buildup, leading to major service disruptions that could leave passenger stranded. In addition to rail switch heating, nVent offers heating solutions for other critical rail infrastructure, including an innovative line of heating systems specifically designed for third rail electrification.

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Topics: Railway Solutions

nVent SCHROFF Space-saving Cabinets Create More Room On Board Multi-unit (MU) Trains

Posted by The nVent Rail Team on Jan 21, 2019 10:16:57 AM

Many exciting advancements exist in the world of rolling stock, including the proliferation of high-speed rail and emergence of autonomous, driver-less technology. Another significant trend is the rise of multiple-unit trains (MUs), which are replacing traditional locomotive-hauled trains in numerous areas of rail services, especially local and regional passenger transit.

According to International Railway Journal,
the world market for regional and suburban multiple-unit trains is growing at about 9 percent per year. MUs, which can be powered by electricity or diesel, comprise a set of self-propelled, interdependent railcars typically featuring driver’s cabs at either end to form a trainset. Multiple-unit trains also feature several motors, traction control and communication systems and other types of equipment distributed across several vehicles of the trains.

The amount of vehicle space taken up by this equipment presents a challenge for MUs, expecially considering that next generation MU rolling stock is built with an increasing amount of electronic equipment, including advanced train control and wireless communication systems, as well as embedded computers and IoT (“internet of things”) integrated devices. In addition, creating more rider-friendly interiors is another goal for MU train builders. A major rolling stock manufacturer recently announcing plans to produce MUs with greater floor height to accommodate passengers with reduced mobility. nVent SCHROFF provides enclosure solutions that help MU train builders integrate electronic equipment efficiently to maximize usable onboard space. 

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Topics: Railway Solutions

An Innovative nVent Ground Conductor On Track in Metro Railways Throughout China

Posted by The nVent Rail Team on Nov 26, 2018 9:10:32 AM

nVent ERICO provides a variety of solutions for earthing (grounding) and bonding across many industries, including rail. Earthing systems are a critical part of railway safety, protecting passengers and the public from electrical shock by preventing electrical voltages in the network from appearing places where it shouldn't be. Railways have complex electrical infrastructures, and—in addition to public safety—robust grounding systems protect mission-critical equipment from costly damage. 

Earthing is achieved by using a grounding system to achieve a low-impedance path to the earth. An earthing system must at least contain ground electrodes, conductors and connections that connect electrodes/conductors/ground bars/equipment. These components are installed in different combinations and configurations throughout the network, depending on the type of rail infrastructure application.

Earthing conductors are typically composed of either 100 percent pure copper or galvanized steel. These conventional components of earthing systems bring the familiar trade-off between economics and service life on track. With its resistance to corrosion, pure copper earthing conductors provide a longer service life on track. However, its higher cost makes it an attractive material for theft. Galvanized steel is less costly but susceptible to corrosion and must be replaced more often. For metro railways in China, the balance between material cost, performance and service life proved to be a significant challenge, which led us to introduce the nVent ERICO Cu-Bond Round Conductor, an innovative ground conductor alternative that overcomes the limitations of conventional materials. 

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Topics: Railway Solutions

For More Efficient Onboard Electrical Systems, nVent ERIFLEX Connections Make a Difference

Posted by The nVent Rail Team on Sep 11, 2018 11:49:33 AM


When it comes to transporting people and 81440795_XXL
goods, railroads typically have a lower environmental impact than other modes of transportation. Further, many regions around the world are turning to electric powered trains to reduce heavy traffic congestion and improve air quality. From propelling electric vehicles to
powering more efficient control and monitoring technologies, It's clear that next generation
electrical systems will provide the foundation
for the future of railroading.

Complex Electrical Infrastructure

Electric rail vehicles require complex infrastructure and systems. Onboard, electricity powers vehicle traction, signaling and communication electronics, and utilities that include lighting and HVAC. A typical electric locomotive requires multiple forms of electricity, from high-voltage DC energy used in propulsion motors to low-voltage AC energy to power onboard systems.

While the environmental benefits of electric powered rail vehicles are apparent, operators and suppliers are challenged to meet increased expectations for performance and efficiency. For example, some high speed electric trains have as many as 50 rectifiers converting electrical current back and forth from AC/DC and back again. And, as digitalization and IoT (Internet of Things) continues to transform the railway industry, an ever increasing array of new electronics are integrated into and on top of onboard systems, pushing the electrical systems to the limits.

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Topics: Railway Solutions

Innovative Switch Heating Solutions for Harsh Winter Weather

Posted by The nVent Rail Team on Aug 20, 2018 1:56:40 PM

Winter weather poses a significant challenge for railways throughout the world. It’s not just cold weather climates that are affected—any region that gets cold enough for freezing rain can see disruptions to rail service.

Safety and reliability are the cornerstone of successful railway operations, but delays
caused by winter weather can put a debilitating strain on passenger and freight service.

This past winter, severe conditions caused significant service disruptions throughout North America. A Class I Railroad recently noted to an industry trade publication that exceptional cold temperatures, and snow accumulation, impacted transportation of grain and other commodities across the continent. 

Preventing Snow and Ice Build-up on Railway Switches

Rail operations is challenging in winter conditions, with snow and ice-accumulation, as well as extreme cold, putting a strain on infrastructure and equipment. Railway switches are an especially critical piece of rail infrastructure that must be kept clear during the winter months for safe, reliable operations. Snow and ice accumulation on railway switches can easily prevent proper switch alignment, putting an approaching train at immediate risk of derailment. 

To keep railway switches free from snow and ice accumulation, railroads employ a number of methods, including electric heating rods, hot and cold blowers, and even systems that use open flames. Many of these traditional solutions provide adequate performance but have limitations, including safety and efficiency. nVent offers an innovative approach to railway switch heating that  provides superior performance with a safe, energy-efficient solution up to 30 percent more cost effective than traditional systems. 

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Topics: Railway Solutions

Welcome to nVent Rail: Global Connected Solutions for Safer, More Reliable Railways

Posted by The nVent Rail Team on Aug 9, 2018 11:47:56 AM

The first commercial passenger and freight railway was chartered in 1827. Less than a century later, in 1903, the Electric Railway Improvement Company (ERICO) was born, quickly becoming a leader in
electrical connection solutions on track, including products that have been standards in the rail industry for generations.

As part of nVent, ERICO is one of several product brands that have a well–established legacy in rail, including nVent ERIFLEX, HOFFMAN, SCHROFF and RAYCHEM. Their trusted products comprise the nVent Rail and Transit portfolio, serving global railways with innovative solutions that connect and protect critical network infrastructure.

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Topics: Railway Solutions

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