Tempco Custom Heater Manufacturing

Finned Tubular Heater for Locomotive Cab Heating Units

Freight Train in the Winter

Recently a customer in the transportation industry contacted Tempco regarding seasonal heating in the cabs of locomotives. This manufacturer was in the process of updating their product line of heating units that are responsible for keeping the cabs at a comfortable temperature in the colder climates of the United States. Train conductors rely on the comfort of the cab to ensure that they can responsibly operate the trains that move goods across the country.

The locomotive cab heaters contain three individual finned tubular heating elements that work in unison. If one element fails, the other two will continue to heat the cab. The heating elements are mounted inside a frame that is mounted to the floor of the cab. A special voltage generated by the locomotive of 74 Volts powers each heating unit. The units utilize unique, specially designed fans that disperse the heat through the 12’ x 12’ locomotive cab.

At least half of the country sees temperatures in the winter - November through April - that drop below freezing, 32°F. The heating units are designed to maintain a temperature of 70°F inside the cab during winter weather. Surface-mounted snap action thermostats are located inside the unit frame to control the temperature. The operating range of the tubular elements is 50-500°F. The thermostats are set to the optimal temperature to control the heating elements. There are ducts connected to the frame of the heating units to direct the warm air to where it is needed the most, such as towards the windows to avoid frost and ice build-up on the glass.

Tempco Finned Tubular heater with U-Bends and electrical termination extension

The Tempco name is a standard in the transportation industry that is well-recognized for high quality products with great longevity. Many locomotive cabs with older heating units have Tempco heaters installed during general maintenance performed in the field. Today, manufacturers specify Tempco finned tubular heaters in a variety of sizes with varying voltages and wattages.

Joel F.

Regional Outside Sales Manager

October 30, 2023


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Tempco Electric Heater Corporation

607 N. Central Ave. | Wood Dale, IL 60191-1452 USA
Phone: 630.350.2252 | Toll Free: 888.268.6396
Fax: 630.350.0232 | Email: [email protected]

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