German Railways (DB) is summarising the interim results of testing white-painted rails to reduce their temperature in hot weather.
After successfully completing testing of the painting technology in the summer of 2019, DB has been testing this technology for almost 10 months.
In autumn 2019, the Pfiffetal viaduct on the high-speed Hanover – Würzburg line was chosen as a test site, where the rails were painted white on one track and sensors were installed on both tracks that continuously measure the temperature of painted and unpainted rails.
The measurement results are analyzed by a computer system. Operational tests will continue until the end of 2020, after which a decision will be made on the extension of rail painting technology to other lines.
According to preliminary test results, the reflectivity of the white paint coating allows to reduce the temperature of the rails by 7 – 8 ° C, however, this coating requires regular updating.
DB consider this technology as one of the ways to ensure the stable operation of railways in the conditions of global warming, as a result of which summer temperatures in Germany have increased significantly (photo: DB).