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Tackling ice on the German ICE High-speed rail network

6th December 2018 – DB Inside Bahn

De-icing – How does it work?

The ICE train passes through a 190m long de-icing tunnel. Here a total of 40 nozzle blocks have been mounted along the length of the track on either side of the rails. Warm water is sprayed upwards from the nozzles. As the steam rises, the moisture spreads. It’s reminiscent of a shower and spa paradise for trains. This is not about clean locomotives and rolling stock. Rather, this de-icing system ensures safety on the rails.

120 litres per minute for defrosting

The whole procedure is quite simple. The train arrives. Then it says: Hose me down! More than 120 litres per minute are pressed against the train from below. The jet is about body temperature and has a pressure of 1 bar. Enough power to spray the water against the underbody of the train and to defrost ice spots that have settled along the track during snowfall. The water used is filtered and fed back into the cycle, i.e. recycled.

39° C Shower

This spa treatment is only necessary at low temperatures. This is because the undercarriages of Deutsche Bahn trains are regularly serviced and subjected to ultrasonic testing. At 39° C any snow and ice in the way is simply defrosted and removed

  • Drehgestell – Bogie
  • Düsenstock – Spray Cylinder
  • Druckluftventil – Compressed-Air Valve
  • Druckluft- und Elektroleitungen – Compressed Air and Electrical conduits
  • Wasserröhre – Water pipes
  • Düsenröhre – Nozzle pipes
  • Almost 70 nationwide de-icing plants

    Complete de-icing of an ICE takes between two to two and a half hours. The chassis can then be inspected. A short time later the ICE is back on track. There are almost 70 defrosting and de-icing systems available throughout the German rail network, in which express and regional trains – in the truest sense of the word – get mollycoddled.

    To prevent the ICEs from freezing in the first place, Frankfurt has had a glycol spraying system that is unique in Germany since 2014: preparation is everything.

    Original Article: “Gegen Eis am ICE: Ein Wellnessparadies für Züge”:

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