TBox Helping To Keep Railways Running


In cold climates, and during winter months, the build-up of ice and snow on rail track, switching points and signals can cause severe disruption and worse, accidents or derailment. This is why operators of networks that endure such conditions invest heavily in heating systems and labour to maintain the operational integrity of their track.

Traditionally, heating systems would maintain the track and points at a constant temperature a few degrees above freezing, or teams of people would work on call around-the-clock clearing snow and ice. The most susceptible parts of rail track to ice and snow build-up are switching points, which in turn can cause signalling systems to malfunction resulting in major disruption. Point heating systems help avoid this by:

  • Preventing the moving rail from freezing to the fixed rail
  • Preventing the moving rail from freezing to the side plates
  • Preventing the build-up of compact snow and ice between the switch and fixed rail
The Challenge

These contingencies require teams of people to work around-the-clock or for systems to work constantly to maintain track temperature, irrespective of the weather or outside temperature. This is clearly inefficient practice and a waste of valuable resources.

There is an alternative; by using remote telemetry technology operators can reduce their energy consumption and labour costs while improving their service through minimising disruption.

Using Ovarro’s ’ TBox range of remote telemetry units to automate, control and monitor their track and point heating system operators remove the need for an unnecessary ‘always on’ solution.

This is exactly what  SAN Railway Systems, a partner of Ovarro has been doing consistently for major operators throughout Europe.


Our TBox RTUs are currently used in many installations to monitor and automate railway heating systems that prevent build-up of ice and snow. Providing safety and reliability, our technology also provides major savings in energy costs. Using a programmable device like a TBox provides significant savings compared to older techniques in which the heaters are constantly on all winter or operated by thermostat.

TBox has helped rail operators achieve savings of up to 70% compared to traditional methods.
Key Deliverables

TBox automated heating systems have been shown to reduce energy consumption by up to 70% when compared to traditional systems - a significant saving for operators which provides a quick return on investment.

TBox devices log data and provide reports for equipment run time and weather condition data to notify maintenance staff of an approaching milestone. This saves operators money by reducing the number of site visits conducted for maintenance and inspection purposes.

  • Improved safety
  • Increased reliability
  • Energy savings
  • Maintenance savings