Protecting Your Propane for Switch Heating


Have you ever noticed large propane tanks next to railroad tracks? If you work in the railroad industry you probably have, and you know that they are used to power track switches and track heaters.

Rail Switches and Winter Weather

When the needle drops during the winter months, it doesn’t have much of an effect on trains. They keep moving along day after day, rain or shine, snow, sleet, or hail—cold or warm weather. In fact, it doesn’t pose much of a problem to the majority of the railroad itself either. However, there is one place where it does have a considerable effect.

Switches don’t like cold weather, and a railroad is only as good as its weakest switch. Switches are those transition points in a track that determine the direction a train will take. If it gets cold enough, and especially if there’s plenty of snow to cover the track, these switch points will freeze and their movement will be impaired.


The Solution is a Hot One

The industry standard for dealing with this problem is to heat the switch points in order to keep them from freezing. There are two ways to do this, either electronically or by using propane. Far more often than not, the railroad uses propane applicators to heat the track.

However, while the track switches are undergoing their propane-induced thawing process, the onsite propane tanks are left out in the cold. When left out to endure the cold long enough, low temperatures will cause the tank to lose pressure and become useless. That’s why Powerblanket created the Propane Tank Heater—a revolutionary product that uses patented technology to deliver uniform barrier of warmth over the entire service area. Now the railroad can protect its switches and the propane stores that keep them heated when it’s needed.

See how well the Propane Tank Heater works for yourself by downloading the white paper!




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