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Hot skirts assist de-icing

21 Jan 2011

UK: ScotRail has been using polytunnels and fitting trains with skirts to assist de-icing during unusually severe conditions this winter. This improved rolling stock availability by up to 30% in the second half of December compared to the first two weeks, according to the operator.

Polytunnels, which are normally used to protect fruit and vegetables from the cold, have been wrapped around trains, supported by air blowers, so that ice melts more quickly.

Heated skirts enclosing only the train's underframe and bogies work in a similar way. The heated skirts can be fitted in 30 min, and de-icing can be completed within 4h.