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6 Solutions That Will Make Winter Easier This Year
The depths of winter are near. So near that you can almost hear rail pull aparts, the frustration of a maintenance crew rushing to thaw a frozen switch, and the thump of a 9-foot tree heavy with snow falling onto the tracks, all of which can bring operations to a halt. The mere thought of winter on the railroad is exhausting. As long as you’re prepared, the idea of winter on the railroad doesn’t have to overwhelm you.
- Stop ice before it starts. Prevent ice from bonding with rail or other components such as switches, locks, passenger walkways, flangeways, derails, moveable bridges, and hundreds of other materials by spraying RR Winterizer before a snowfall. It is biodegradable, non hazardous to all plant and animal life, and non corrosive to any material. Winterizer can also be used as a deicer (ice melter) after snowfall, and has a low freezing point of -76 degrees.
- If RR Winterizer wasn’t sprayed before snowfall, make sure to be prepared with a Switch Broom to dig out those critical components. The durable polypropylene bristles on our Switch Broom paired with its chisel-end serves double duty for ice-scraping jobs and snow and debris removal in tough to reach places.
- Ice accumulation may be too heavy for a switch broom. In this case, be sure to have a Switch Heater Can available to place under the rail in proximity to the build up. This convenient can will quickly melt snow and ice from a switch or other important components on the rail.
- Heating rail with the old diesel and rope method is not only messy and environmentally hazardous, but also time consuming and wasteful. Maintenance crews often waste kerosene / diesel soaked gloves and other gear with this messy method, having to waste time and additional resources to soak the rope, then clean up the remnants afterward. FireSnake is the simple, smokeless, non-toxic solution to heating rail and other components. It burns clean to protect the safety of workers and the environment, and requires zero cleanup.
- Rail pull aparts during winter are as predictable as cold temperatures. When rail heating methods do not expand the rail enough, you should be prepared with a reliable rail puller. This Enerpac RP120 hydraulic rail puller, made of durable alloy steel, has 120-tons of pulling force and a swing arm design that clamps firmly on the rail eliminating the need for separate jaws or wedges. For added convenience during those freezing temps, there is no disassembly or reassembly required.
- When utilizing a ballast regulator for on-track snow removal, use high-performance club-style broom elements, which are wider, more durable, and last fifteen percent longer than standard broom elements, ideal for swiftly clearing snow from the track.
The difference between a successful and not-so-successful winter is preparation. Preparation will save time, money and headaches. Don’t get snowed in over your head this winter and prepare now.