RTR Technologies Develops New Overhead Contact Wire De-icing System

STOCKBRIDGE, MA, July 12 – Rosalie Berger, President of RTR Technologies, Inc has announced the development of CAT HEAT, a new electric catenary / trolley wire de-icing system. Aimed at reducing the risk of equipment malfunction caused by ice covered contact wires, CAT HEAT will help Transit Authorities eliminate weather-related service interruptions which directly affect customer satisfaction and revenue.

“Over the years we’ve been approached by Transit Authorities who were concerned with the hazards, both physical and financial, associated with ice covered contact wire”, Craig Berger, RTR’s Director of Engineering and Marketing said. Looking for a new product to introduce to the market, Berger and his engineers seized on the idea of a universal system that would take into account the range of system requirements associated with the various transit authorities that run light rail vehicles. “Our goal was to develop a product that could be easily installed on any new or existing Light Rail Transit (LRT) System”, Berger said.

RTR’s engineers were successful and eventually developed CAT HEAT, a constant wattage catenary / contact wire heating and de-icing system, that is suitable for all light rail and trolley systems.

“With an operating DC voltage range between 600VDC and 1500VDC, and a nominal power output of 8W per foot, this heater can be used on virtually any LRT system worldwide”, Berger explained.

The heating system, which is patent pending, consists of an insulated constant wattage heater surrounded by a heat transfer material. The power output is controlled by a microprocessor based system. The heating cable is secured to the contact wire with phosphor-bronze attachment clips to avoid galvanic corrosion.

CAT HEAT was tested on several Transit Authorities in the Northeast this past winter including Buffalo, Cleveland and Pittsburgh. The results have been positive.

Andy Lukaszewicz, Manager of Power and Signal for the Port Authority of Alleghany County (PAAC), reported that PAAC’s longstanding icing problems completely disappeared at the South Portal of the Mt. Washington Tunnel, the location of test installation. “After installation of RTR’s contact wire heater system, there were no more lost maintenance hours expended on ice removal”, Lukasewicz reported. Lukasewicz says PAAC was so pleased with the results that they secured funding to install additional contact wire heater circuits in their LRT staging yard.

RTR Technologies, Inc. is a Massachusetts-based manufacturer of freeze protection, de-icing and corrosion prevention systems and related controls for the rail and mass transit industries worldwide. The world’s leading manufacturer of contact rail heating systems, RTR’s products and systems are installed at Transit Authorities throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.

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