Thermal-Flex Systems has been manufacturing railroad switch heating components and hardware for more than 30 years.  During that time we have developed a number of rail heating products for demanding heating applications. Our “systems” approach to switch heating combines a number of components to improve rail heating.

To maximize rail heating performance, in particular, when using lower wattage, energy efficient heating elements, we designed an insulated cover for the rail element; the first company to develop and utilize this technology.  Our reusable rail element covers feature a high density thermal insulating material held captive in the cover by a locking insulator plate.  The combination of thermal insulation and cover geometry drives heat into the rail rather than allowing it to be lost to the environment. Our insulated rail element covers can elevate rail temperatures by up to 40% versus non-insulated systems.

Today, Thermal-Flex Systems is the only manufacturer of flexible rail heating elements.  Our patented design permits the rail heating element to be installed either behind, or around track braces and other obstructions. Our unique heating element design is encased in a flexible, spiral fluted, watertight tube. The tube, or rail heater, is positioned at the neutral axis on the field side of the stock rail where it is covered by the insulated

cover and the completed assembly is held in place by spring steel track clips.

The components of the Thermal-Flex High Capacity Switch Heating System are shown in the diagram below.

For extreme environmental conditions, Thermal-Flex Systems manufactures a wide range of high wattage rail heating elements; up to 600 watts/ft.  Utilizing our small diameter SlimLine connector allows the rail heater to be easily installed behind rail braces thereby reducing trackside access time and installations costs.

To complete the “system”, Thermal-Flex switch heating systems are configured with crib or ballast heaters. Our crib heaters are one of the smallest and lightest designs in the industry making the installation under the switch rods simple and quick.