Innovation VGF

Renewal of the points heating systems

Heating power according to demand

Approximately 600 points ensure that Frankfurt’s trams and underground trains in the city and at the VGF depots are always on the right track. In order to ensure that these work smoothly at all times of the year, around 500 of these installations are equipped with heaters. They ensure that the points do not ice up in winter and even react to the environment: They measure their ambient temperature and begin heating at less than five degrees.

New technologies are now being deployed to ensure an even smoother (and as predictable as possible) operation in winter: In future, weather stations will determine the temperature, humidity and amount of precipitation in the vicinity of the points. They will evaluate this data and even take the weather forecast into account. By doing so, they make it possible to regulate the heating power according to demand, which can lead to energy and CO2 savings of 50 to 80 per cent. Due to the lower load placed on the heating elements located in the track, less wear and tear and lower operating and maintenance costs can also be expected. The modernisation of the points heating systems also enables continuous communication between the control technology and the systems, using state-of-the-art wireless communication methods, in addition to conventional connections. A similar points heating system is already being used successfully in Magdeburg.