Rail Industry Dependent on DC DC Converters for Growth - Global Trade Magazine
  August 11th, 2017 | Written by

Rail Industry Dependent on DC DC Converters for Growth

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  • In many parts of the US using rail links to transport oil makes sense.
  • Rail may provide a short-term solution that would save billions on infrastructure spending in the US.

In the United States, the bulk of commuters are far from dependent on the country’s vast railway network to get around. However, rail has proved useful for the shipping of important products that help to keep the American economy going. One such product is oil, the transport of which has been supported by rail in recent months.

The protracted construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline may now be over, but a price tag of $4 billion and opposition from protesters may see oil companies turn to rail as a cheaper alternative. In many parts of the US where oil is a major employer, using rail links that already exist seems to make sense from a number of standpoints.

In order to ensure the safety of precious cargo such as oil, the national rail network is dependent on DC DC converters to fully operate. All the trackside equipment needed to keep freight trains moving needs these converters to run safely, managing changes in voltages without even the slightest hitch.

On the Right Track

If expensive oil pipes are to be shunned in favour of the railways, work will be needed to keep the tracks safe. Presently, the US has more than 140,000 miles of rail. Much of that is ready to use for freight trains to transport oil, coal, and lighter goods such as electronics and clothes. The role played by DC DC converters is huge, as they are used in many types of equipment.

With so much rail to manage, there is a lot of work needed to make sure it all runs as it should. DC DC converters for railways are essential for signal boxes, which manage traffic at busy crossings and junctions. They are used to power the levers that enable trains to go past one another safely, which is essential for the transit of oil in particular.

These converters are also used for communication devices that are used by staff and rail terminals alike. For railway workers, walkie talkies need DC DC converters to connect to some power supplies, as do in-cabin radios. Without them in place, a safe cargo trip from coast to coast becomes far more chaotic and difficult to track.

Safety First

The cabins of both freight and passenger trains are dependent on having the appropriate technology to work. Radios have enabled drivers to communicate from long distances, informing each other of when they are due to arrive at their destination. For the safety of valuable cargo and passengers, they make a huge difference.

Speaking of communication, displays are a major part of what makes the railway industry tick. DC DC converters help to power up displays such as traffic lights at crossings and departure boards at busy stations. These need to be updated constantly, for the safety and reassurance they offer to passengers and rail staff.

Passenger Numbers

Although much of the existing rail network in the US is currently being used for logistics, rail passenger numbers are experiencing some welcome growth. Figures from Amtrak revealed that over 400,000 extra passenger journeys were taken in 2016. A renaissance in passenger travel could put the rail industry as a whole in a strong position for the coming years.

The future doesn’t seem quite so certain for rail, but for cost-effectiveness, it may provide a short-term solution that would save billions on infrastructure spending. Rail will, however, need to have the necessary technology and capacity to handle any extra traffic.