Safety is paramount in the rail industry and protecting against the risk of fire is essential for the safety of both passengers and equipment.

Even a small incident can jeopardize the safety of passengers or create costly delays and downtime.
In addition to the human element the industry depends upon expensive rolling stock and infrastructure support equipment which is often bespoke and impossible to replace at short notice.

Fires in anything from signalling equipment to plant and vehicles can be very costly for operators and traditional protection systems can be complex and very expensive.

The Firetrace® Solution

MVC 025S

Firetrace® has an Automatic Fire Suppression System ideal for protecting all types of rail applications.



Entire areas can easily be protected against fire by installation of Firetrace® tubing. This system will respond swiftly to any outbreak of fire, with high accuracy, and immediately extinguish it , before other equipment in the area can be affected.

Our automatic fire suppression system does not need complex electronic detectors or panels and uses only pneumatics to operate.

In addition, it doesn't require separate battery or power backups, and has very few moving parts, creating a highly reliable system as a result.

It can operate autonomously or as part of a multiple system, and is ideal for remote or unmanned areas and equipment such as generators, mobile plant and rail vehicles.

Firetrace® is suitable for protecting both electric and diesel powered equipment as well as generation and control equipment.

It can also be used as fail safe pneumatic heat detectors in areas where fully automatic suppression is not suitable.

How It Operates

Firetrace® systems state-of-the-art detection tubing is put in place and linked through to the cylinder valve. The next step is to charge the tubes with nitrogen, which creates the pressure required to keep the valve shut.

Should a fire (or temperature above 120 degrees centigrade) occur the pressurised tubing will burst and the cylinder will activate deploying the extinguishant immediately onto the fire.

Another part of the system is a switch which is normally held shut by the pressure of the gas, but opens if the tube breaks or if there is a fall in pressure. This can then be used to trigger an alarm and/or isolate the equipment.

Firetrace® systems use unique pneumatic detection tubing which is installed throughout the risk area and connected to the patented cylinder valve. The tubing is then charged with nitrogen and this pressure is utilised to hold the valve in the closed position.

Should a fire (or temperature above 120 degrees centigrade) occur the pressurised tubing will burst and the cylinder will activate deploying the extinguishant immediately onto the fire.

A switch is also added to the system and is held closed by the pressure. Should the tubing burst or the pressure be lost for any reason then the switch will open and this signal can be used to isolate the equipment and raise an alarm.


Fire Detection from Firetrace®

Whether safeguarding is required for equipment, vehicles or the workplace, the Firetrace® automatic fire suppression system provides a cost-effective answer. Quickly pinpointing the spot where fire has broken out and tackling it immediately at source, the systems are able to keep damage and loss of production to a minimum.

Equipment which is in use can have the system retrofitted quickly and simply, with no requirement for costly electronic parts. As well as being affordable, you can be sure that Firetrace® systems offer high-standard protection, to the CE and ISO 9001:2008 standards.

Firetrace systems are compliant with the Railway Group standards and have previously been accepted for use on a number of rail projects:

MVC 017S

• Side tipping ballast wagons


• Auto ballasters



• Sandite modules & Rail head treatment trains (RHTT)


• Infrastructure monitoring vehicles

• Long welded rail vehicles


• EMU Translator vehicles

We have documentation showing how, in numerous cases, the systems have found fires and put them out, resulting in minimal damage to key equipment. Our record of success means that Firetrace® systems are recognised by many of the larger insurance companies.

As well as installation, we also provide a design service and give full advice both before and after a sale, giving you the benefit of our 20 years of experience.