Client Network Rail

Location Bolton, UK

Sectors Rail and public transport industry

The challenge

Heating cabinets to power rail heat points during winter

A railway contractor had installed temporary rail points as part of a long-term construction project. This allowed trains to run along a single line, while the down line was being maintained.

To prevent the points from freezing over the winter months, the contractor installed points heating cabinets. These needed power to operate when temperatures went below 5oC.

Project fact file


125 kVA generator

Below 5 ⁰C

Temperature for auto-start

6 ⁰C

Auto-stop temperature

The solution

Cost-effective auto-start railway power supply for heating cabinets

We installed a 125 kVA generator with auto-start capabilities. The generator was linked to an industrial thermostat that told the generator to turn on when temperatures fell below 5oC and automatically switch off when temperatures rose again. We put the thermostat away from equipment that gave off heat so readings accurately reflected the true temperature on the points.

We understood that frozen tracks and train delays can have a significant impact on passengers and service during the winter seasons, that's why we also provided fully bunded fuel tanks, to increase the running time between refuelling, as well as trace heated fuel lines supplied via an RCB protected 240 V supply from the generator.

The generator was monitored by our diagnostic software – ARM (Aggreko Remote Monitoring) to ensure it operated in tip-top form.


The aggreko difference

Finding cost-effective solutions for railway point heating systems. 

The impact

Cost-effective auto-start railway power supply to heat points

By heating the power points the contractor was able to continue the railway maintenance project without disrupting the railway. On-demand power, provided by our auto-start set-up, saved money on fuel, as the generator turned itself off at the stipulated temperature.


"Every winter we support Network Rail with points heating packages to prevent points freezing and rail line disruption."

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