Micromotive is a registered trade mark, product name, and division of A1Results Ltd
Remotely controlled rail/road crossings
Earlier this year we installed our fiftieth Rail/Road crossing control system.
These crossing control systems are currently employed in steelworks, docks and train maintenance depots, but really there’s no limit to its use. Three steelworks have changed to the exclusive use of our system for the control of the Rail/road crossings and other access warning systems.
Although designed primarily for Rail/Road crossings the application has been adapted for use in other areas, for example Road/Road crossing control where large plant has to share, and/or cross, roads used by smaller vehicles and domestic traffic.
The same handset that controls the point machines is used to control the crossings systems and can be used to operate both types of equipment if required which is the usual mode of operation in the steelworks.
A range of about 800m can be obtained from the handsets with a clear line of sight.
Rail/Road Crossings have varied in complexity from a simple retrofit to an existing lights only crossing, to providing all the equipment for a completely new crossing. During installation our systems have controlled crossings with lights, barriers and combinations of both. The control electronics uses the same control board as that used in the points machine thus simplifying site logistics.
The control system has been developed to permit control of lights only, half barrier or full barrier crossings with the facility of rail vehicle detection. The crossings can be controlled either individually or as part of a route in conjunction with other crossings or point machines.
Above: a single barrier crossing. The control equipment is in the grey box on the near barrier pillar.
3 above: the simplest of crossings with rail lights only
This crossing has additional warning repeaters sited at the exits of the bays from the building in the background that have access and egresswithin the crossing area. Although not obvious in this picture there are two lines crossing the road at this position that are widely spaced and safety dictated that both lines be controlled by one crossing. Inevitably in industrial sites the multiplicity of road junctions results in a complex crossing.
This control panel contains the six circuit boards to control a complex Rail/Road and Road/Road crossing. It comprises eight wig/wags two red/green traffic lights, two sets of area warning beacons and sounders and two sets of railway signals.
Large plant control the crossing that has other domestic roads and a rail line over it. The controls are interlocked so that if the plant vehicle has obtained control of the crossing the rail crossing is inhibited and vice versa. Different crossings are actioned dependant upon the route and direction of the plant vehicle so the operator uses the route function when operating the crossing. To minimise diruption to traffic delays are incorporated into the crossing so that, although the operator has obtained control, the crossing does not become active until this delay has expired.
(Due to its size and complexity it is not possible to obtain a photograph of this crossing).
A road\rail crossing at the site of a road junction and car park exit. A more complex installation, it includes two rail signals and six road facing wig/wag signals
The Windows based customer control software that enables the system manager to tailor the operation of the point machine to the exact requirements is also used to set the required parameters of the crossing.
In one steelworks large lorries control traffic lights and area warning systems using our system. The site has rail traffic using the same system for the point machines and the Rail/Road crossings. Using differing security numbers within the two independent requirenments, the rail operators are unable to operate the Road vehicle equipment and the road vehicle personnel cannot operate any rail equipment. The system can also cater for Road/Road vehicle crossings, all parameters under the control of the system manager.
The same system can be used for area warning, for example where large plant is manoeuvring, this application being employed in two steelworks.
In all installations the addition of another crossing or area warning system requires no modifications to the handset, the operators only needing to be advised of the crossing assigner number and then the installation is ready for service.
Where the various parts of the crossing cannot be connected by cable, two or more control systems can operate simultaneously to control the various parts that comprise the whole crossing. This can be a very cost effective solution compared with the cost and disruption of civil engineering required to lay cables under or over roads.
We are delighted to say that one of our crossings has now successfully completed about 220,000 operations