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Ice and overhead lines: a bad mix

Monday, December 03 2018

Overhead lines

Did you know that exo runs night trains on the exo6 Deux-Montagnes line to remove ice from the electrical lines that power the locomotives?

How do overhead lines work?

Your train is powered by the electricity it needs thanks to two elements:

  • The overhead lines: these are the electrical cables you see suspended above the tracks.
  • The pantograph: this is the metallic “arm” on the roof of your train. By sliding along the overhead line, the pantograph receives the current and sends it to the locomotive.

When the current doesn't transfer

When freezing rain coats the overhead lines with ice, the electric current cannot flow. The lines and pantograph are too cold.

During the day, regular train traffic prevents the ice from forming. But what about at night?

What's our solution? Planning ahead!

A fleet of exo trains is on standby all night long. In the event of a freezing rain warning, these trains are immediately deployed on the tracks. In the morning, the overhead lines are de-iced and your train is ready to go.

Want to learn about other initiatives undertaken by exo this winter? Consult the page devoted to winter conditions.