Safe Low-Cost Unmanned Railway Crossings

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Indian Railways' Data shows 40% Accidents and 68% Deaths - 613 persons killed during 5 year period 2011~16 - happen at Unmanned Level Crossings, ULCs. Indian Railways plan to eliminate 6352 ULCs, out of total 9340 ULCs, investing Rs.75 billion and Annual Recurring Cost of Rs.3 billion.

This Design Proposal enables Safe, Automatic Operation of all 9340 ULCs, investing Rs.2.8 billion.

1. Indian Railways has installed Anti-Collision Devices, ACDs, over 1736kms of NE Frontier Railway and 760kms of Konkan Railway. This ACD System uses GPS Positioning and Radio Frequency Transmission between Loco ACDs, Station ACDs and Level Crossing Gate ACDs. This Design requires Gate ACDs at all ULCs, Loco ACDs on all Locomotives and Station ACDs at all Railway Stations.

2. A Standard Automatic Lane Barrier, 4m~6m long as per Road width, shall be installed on both sides of ULC. This Lane Barrier will be Actuated by the Gate ACD.
Two Red Flasher Lights, 21W each, are installed on the Boom and a Loudspeaker, 40W, is installed over the Mounting Column of each Lane Barrier.
Both sides of ULC are Fenced for 15m from each end of Lane Barrier. The Approach Road to each Lane Barrier is provided a Rumbler, 5m long.
The System is powered by 1kW Solar Power System. 2nos 150Ahx24V Batteries power the System when Solar Power is unavailable.

3. Working Cycle : a. When Approaching Train is 2kms from ULC, as per GPS, its Loco ACD triggers Gate ACD at ULC.
b. Gate ACD switches on Loudspeaker with Audio Warning eg. 'Attention ! Danger ! Train Arriving ! Please Go Outside Gates At Once'. The Warning repeats continuously.
c. After 30s~60s, as per Crossing size to allow persons exit gates, Gate ACD Closes both Lane Barriers. Closing time 6s.
d. Gate ACD switches on Red Flasher Lights and informs Loco ACD the ULC is Closed.
e. If Loco ACD receives no 'Closed' message after 75s, the driver will Brake & Slow Down the Train.
f. After 120s~240s, depending on its speed, Train reaches ULC.
g. When Locomotive is 650m past ULC, Loco ACD clears Gate ACD for Opening ULC. 650m is longest permitted length of Indian Railway Train.
h. Gate ACD switches off Loudspeaker and Red Lights and Opens Lane Barriers. Opening time 6s.
i. Total Cycle Time : 180s ~ 330s, depending on Train speed.

4. The Control Unit incorporates Diagnostics which constantly verifies Functioning of every element of the Working System & Solar Power System. Any Failure is immediately conveyed by Gate ACD to Station ACD for Corrective Action.

5. Cost of System is Rs.0.3 million per ULC. Total Cost Rs.2.8 billion for 9340 ULCs. This Cost does not cover ACD Network of Indian Railways.


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  • Name:
    Venkatesh Sreenivasan
  • Type of entry:
  • Profession:
  • Venkatesh is inspired by:
    Innovation & Daring Ideas & Simplicity in Design.
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  • Patent status: