Keep trains moving all winter with a Midwest mass transit third rail anti-icing and deicing program.


Recent winters have seen hundreds of train cancelations by a single carrier in a single week. Overall, as reported in Wired, winter challenges we normally associate with automobiles can turn railway system schedules into havoc.

Unless they are proactive — with Midwest’s anti-icing and deicing agents — formulated to keep railroads running in the worst winter weather, saving productivity and profits.

Without such foresight, plunging temperatures and wintry precipitation create a crippling chain reaction that has been shown to reduce service to as little as half capacity. A railway spokesperson points out: “We don’t cancel trains for no reason. At the end of the day, our primary objective is to operate the railroad safely, so if we need to reduce speeds or run fewer trains, we’re gonna do that.”

Winter weather third-rail incidents result in costly overtime dedicated to a problem that is preventable.

Trains are disabled. Schedules are delayed. People are stranded. And crews are overstressed. All because of winter — and railway problems that can be avoided through a Midwest program.

THE PROBLEM: During prolonged winter weather events, the third rail develops a layer of ice that prevents the shoe from making contact with the rail; causes stalling or slow trains; creates costly delays for passengers; and stresses maintenance crews by shifting focus from other necessary functions to the long process of de-icing the third rail.

THE SOLUTION: A proactive approach using Midwest’s Ice-Slicer® System to prevent the problem before it happens by applying a proven anti-icing agent.

Anti-icing requires 5-TO-10 TIMES LESS PRODUCT

A proactive system pays off, because deicing uses up to 10 times more than what you would need to provide anti-icing action in the first place

The system can be placed in passenger cars on trains THAT ARE ALREADY RUNNING

This decreases or even eliminates the need for additional trains, or prime movers to do the job

DEFIES THE EFFECTS of rain, sleet, snow, wind and gravity

By eliminating power loss and delayed or stalled trains

Maintains maximum PASSENGER SAFETY

Proactively prepare third rails before winter, for reliable performance that will let you rest easy

A heritage of helping railways run more reliably and efficiently.

Midwest is your best choice to co-develop a winterization program for your railway. As the leading third rail anti-icing and deicing system — with more than 37 years of experience applied to each customer need — Midwest chemists, engineers and application experts are always pushing the envelope to develop cutting-edge processes, products and services; stay on top of the learning curve; and educate our customers for our mutual success.

Unlike other companies, Midwest has our own lab, so developing new solutions is business as usual. We also manufacture our own spray systems and other equipment to ensure optimal application, and remain fully committed to safety (with plenty of awards to show for it), while protecting the environment.

Midwest carries more patents and certifications than anyone in the industry, guaranteeing unparalleled results. And we’ve been specialists in railway winter protection products and systems for four decades:

1978 —– Ice Free Switch and Switch Treator applicators are introduced for anti-icing railroad switch plates.

1988 —– CTA partners with Midwest to supply third-rail anti-icers

1999 —– Expansion into the Rail and Transit market with Zero-Gravity Third Rail Anti-Icer featuring NASA technology

2002 —– Ice Slicer Third Rail Spray Systems are introduced to mass transit for application of third rail anti-icing

We’re also the most trusted in the business. Midwest serves as approved supplier for these railroads:

Burlington Northern Santa Fe | CSX | Canadian National | Canadian Pacific | Norfolk Southern | Union Pacific

As well as short-line and regional railroads, along with industrial facilities, with current Zero Gravity Third Rail® customers including:

Washington Metro Area Transit Authority (WMATA) | Maryland Transit Authority (MTA) | Bombardier (JFK International) | Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) | Long Island Railroad (LIRR) | South Eastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) | Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) | Metro Boston Transit Authority (MBTA) | Port Authority Transit Corporation (PATCO) | ProTrans BC — Canada Line

Midwest's Third Rail Anti-icing Products
Zero Gravity Third Rail

Prevent Third-Rail Icing

Zero Gravity Third Rail uses a NASA Smart Fluid technology we call Zero Gravity™, co-developed by NASA/Ames Research Center and Midwest. Applied before a storm, it prevents ice and snow from bonding to the third rail, keeps your trains on schedule, and helps maintain maximum safety for passengers.

Zero Gravity Third Rail anti-icer, for the third-rail surfaces on mass transit trains to keep them free of ice, is delivered by the Ice-Slicer® Third Rail Spray System. Third-rail anti-icing protection is critical because ice on a third rail will not allow sufficient electrical contact, thereby causing power problems which will keep a train from operating. Treating the third rail with Midwest’ Zero Gravity Third Rail will help keep mass transit running on schedule and provide greater safety for passengers.

Given that it takes five to 10 times more product to remove ice once it has formed than to prevent it from forming, using environmentally-friendly Zero Gravity Third Rail prior to and during a severe storm will not only prevent delays and shutdowns but also cost less money. More effective than electric heaters, Zero Gravity Third Rail holds fast to vertical surfaces and remains in place, triggered into action by sleet, rain or snow.

Ice Slicer Third Rail Spray System

Anti-icing Spray System for Mass Transit Third Rail

The Ice-Slicer Third Rail Spray System was designed to apply Midwest’s Zero Gravity Third Rail Anti-Icer automatically to either third rail side of your trains to keep the surfaces free of ice.

Applied when predictions indicate freezing temperatures and prior to a severe storm event, it prevents ice and snow from bonding to the third rail, keeps your trains on schedule, and helps maintain maximum safety for passengers. Ongoing applications during a storm event will maintain ice-free rails and uninterrupted track operations.



Keep Your Trains Operating in the Worst of Winter Weather

Traditional deicers used for third rail applications are very fluid. The thin fluid runs off the rail and provides no residual protection. Additionally, once rails have frozen over, it requires 5 to 10 times more of this thin fluid to melt ice than it would if you used Zero Gravity Third Rail Anti-Icer Deicer. Using low viscosity deicers makes your de-icing practice ineffective and costly. Zero Gravity Third Rail and Ice-Slicer create a pro-active approach for your anti-icing procedures to conserve product, saving you time and money and preventing operational interruption.

Third Rail utilizes a NASA technology “Smart Fluid” referred to as Zero Gravity, a co-developed technology between NASA and Ames Research Center. Midwest has been licensed to utilize Zero Gravity in Third Rail Anti-Icer and is patent protected. When a small amount (a thin film of .01”) of this non-corrosive substance is sprayed onto the third rail, its viscosity reverts to high “zero” shear or static viscosity which enables it to stay in place. This makes Zero Gravity Third Rail strongly resistant to rain, snow, ice, surface winds, and the adverse effects of gravity.