A switch point is a mechanical connection and installation on rail tracks which enables railway trains to be channeled from one track to another. The switch point contains a pair of connected tapering rails, also referred to as points, which lie within the diverging rails. In case the switch is sealed or locked, any train coming from one or the other side of the converging point will directly pass through the points at the narrow end, irrespective of the location of the points. The passageway of rails through a switch point in such directions is referred to as trailing-point movement.
Switch Point heating systems keep railway tracks and switches free from snow or ice. Depending on the existing infrastructure and weather conditions in the region, different types of heating methods are used for switch point heating systems. These methods include electric heating, gas heating and liquid heating. Whereas electric heating methods consist of resistance strip elements, gas heating methods consist of infrared radiation and liquid heating method uses a CH boiler or ground heat. The main aim of installing switch point heating systems is to save railways and switch points and reduce accidental situations. These devices couple functionality with easy installation, handling and reduced power consumption while also enhancing function and safety at the same time.
Some factors, such as vibration proof design, long product life, energy saving design, etc. are acting as drivers for the market of Switch Point Heating Systems. There are many other factors working in the favor of switch point heating system devices, such as the fact that they can be customized, they reduce safety malfunctions and require less time for installation. These devices have a flexible design, which improves the surface contact between the track and rails, thereby reducing the risk of an electrical short circuit to almost zero. Also, since the material used as a heating element offers high shock and vibration resistance, the device is easy to use. However, the high cost associated with the installation of these devices can be considered as a restraint for the market of Switch Point Heating Systems.
North America dominates the market for Switch Point Heating Systems and holds comparatively high market share. It is followed by Europe and Japan. However, Japan and North America, together, hold over half of the market share, in terms of value. Also, the European region holds a significant market share owing to the fact that this region has comparatively low-temperature climatic conditions. Owing to the increasing demand for transportation, the demand for Switch Point Heating Systems is also rising in the global market. However, the sales of Switch Point Heating Systems is expected to remain stagnant in some regions, such as the Middle East & Africa and Asia Pacific except Japan (APEJ), over the forecasted period.
Examples of some of the market participants identified across the value chain of the Switch Point Heating System market include Kable, Terrapinn Holdings Ltd., ORIGO SwitchPoint Heating, PINTSCH ABEN B.V., NIBE ELEMENT RAILWAY SOLUTIONS, SAN Electro Heat a/s, Heatpoint, Switchpoint Heating, A. Proctor Group Ltd., Caloplex GmbH, eltherm GmbH, Western Sierras, HEAT TRACE, Pentair, Thermal-Flex Systems, Inc., GrayBar Ltd., Heat Trace (UK) Ltd., etc.
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