How Midwest Can Help Mass Transit Prepare for Winter

How Midwest Can Help Mass Transit Prepare for Winter

In Anti-Icing Deicing, Rail & Mass Transit, Zero Gravity Third Rail® by Lynn Cielec

What are the risks of rail transportation in freezing conditions, and how can Midwest help prepare for them?

Preparing for winter is a wide-ranging task, as railways and equipment need effective treatment in order to prevent failure in the best of times, and periods of extreme weather make the job exponentially harder.

To ensure commuters get from Point A to Point B safely and comfortably, rail companies need to develop strategies to address snow, ice, and subzero temperatures, all of which can impact service.

Rail and Switch De-Icing

Ice is a major cause for concern in rail transportation, and can cause delays, collisions, and derailments if it interferes with the correct operation of switches. Just last winter, as NBC Chicago reports, the city’s rail services experienced frequent suspensions or delays in service due to icy conditions affecting rail switches.

Midwest Can Offer Ice-Prevention Solutions

The time spent removing ice buildup far exceeds the time it takes to prevent the initial buildup, which is why it makes so much sense to apply an ice-preventative solution to switches and other equipment throughout the colder months. Midwest Industrial Supp ly, Inc. offers an innovative, biodegradable chemical set of solutionsto prevent ice buildup on crucial switches.

Our Glidex® track switch agent is used to lubricate railroad switches, slide plates, throw rods, movable bridges, overhead crane rails, couplers, and more. Glidex synthetic track lubricant is non-flammable, non-corrosive, safe to use, and provides long-term effectiveness. Glidex is not water soluble and, therefore, cannot be washed away by rainfall or melting snow.

Ice-Free Switch® is a non-corrosive, environmentally friendly, and biodegradable glycol-based smart fluid, co-engineered by the NASA/Ames Research Center and Midwest Industrial Supply.

It prevents freezing and re-freezing of switch components down to temperatures of -70°F, while keeping them clear of falling and blowing snow and stopping the formation of ice in gaps when the switch is stationary for long periods of time.

Applied directly on the surface and delivered by the Ice-Slicer® railroad anti-icing systems, Zero Gravity Third Rail® anti-icer keeps the third rail on mass transit lines free of ice. Third-rail anti-icing protection is critical because the presence of ice on a third rail will prevent sufficient electrical contact, thereby causing power problems that keep a train from operating.

Ice-Slicer® railroad anti-icing spray systems provide custom delivery of Midwest’s Zero Gravity Third Rail® anti-icer to mass transit lines’ third-rail surfaces, keeping them ice-free all winter long.

Switch Treator® is a heavy-duty track sprayer, available as a hand sprayer or backpack chemical sprayer for applying Glidex or Ice Free Switch.

Finally, Remote Access Dual Automatic Switch Sprayer (RADASS) truly represents the wave of the future. A system created by Swedish company Solliq, RADASS can remotely prevent ice on rail switches using sprayers installed at switch sites. The system allows remote operation from a computer, smart phone, or tablet. Watch the video below and contact Midwest for information on obtaining the system in the U.S.


Lynn Cielec is the Industrial Business Unit Manager at Midwest Industrial Supply. She is an experienced executive sales director with a proven track record of results and sales growth. Effectively utilizes consultative selling methodologies within a CRM system while incorporating other value based selling tools. Expertise in building and leading high performing sales teams, strategic planning, P & L management, new business development, compensation development, market/trend analysis, new product launches and multi-sales channel distribution.