In hot weather, passengers in Deutsche Bahn are primarily interested in air conditioning on trains. Meanwhile, the DB must also ensure that the tracks and technical devices along the rail infrastructure do not heat up too much. That is why, according to the concern, the security control technology in particular is equipped with thousands of cooling systems that are regularly checked and maintained. “In addition, we have installed temperature sensors in the operationally important control rooms, which send messages automatically when threshold values are exceeded,” continued DB.
The company is currently experimenting with so-called phase change materials. They are supposed to work unlike popular pocket heaters. Thermal radiation turns an initially solid substance into a viscous gel. As a result of this transformation, it consumes heat and thus cools its surroundings. Tests are currently underway to demonstrate how well this technology can protect sensitive structural components.
Active air conditioning
In recent years, DB has also invested in maintaining trains’ air conditioning systems and increasing their repair capacity. DB reported that the situation on German trains was stable on Tuesday, and no “heat disturbances” were found.
Until a few years ago, the inefficiency of summer air conditioning on German trains was a recurring problem. In July 2010, several students in the sweltering ICE collapsed. However, such cases have not been recorded in recent years.
The British control the railways
The situation on the railways in Great Britain is different. Severe temperatures have paralyzed parts of the country. For the first time in history, temperatures there exceeded 40 degrees Celsius. According to rail operator Network Rail, services on major rail routes along the English East Coast and into the Midlands have been suspended altogether. Residents are invited to change their travel plans. “Making such decisions was not easy for us. Our engineers are working hard to test the infrastructure’s resilience in the face of such record heat, and we have decided we have no choice but to turn it off,” Network Rail reports. There is a fear that the railway tracks will be deformed by the extreme temperatures.
The Met Office weather service recorded 40.2 degrees Celsius for lunch at London Heathrow Airport. This is the highest temperature ever recorded in the UK. But this record may still be broken. During the day, even 42 degrees are expected. The previous temperature was 38.7 degrees and was measured in Cambridge in 2019.
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