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Reducing the cost of level crossing warning systems: Trials, results, lessons learned and adoption of new technologies
conference contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 authored by G Larue, C Wullems, Anjum NaweedAnjum Naweed
Fatalities at level crossings continue to be a significant concern for railways around the world. In Australia, nearly a third of railway fatalities over the past 15 years have occurred as a result of collisions between road and rail vehicles. The number of level crossings in Australia exceeds 23,500 where 8,838 are on public roads, 5,900 of which have no form of active protection. With relatively low volumes of rail and road traffic, the costs for installing traditional protection at a single level crossing significantly outweigh the benefits but collectively, these crossings represent a significant proportion of the operating risk for railways. In 2014, a group of Australian railways began a national trial of lower-cost level crossing warning systems. This 12 month trial involved collecting data on the performance of three candidate level crossing warning systems, each installed in shadow-mode at three different sites. The warning systems were selected for their ability to use innovative technologies to reduce lifecycle costs. The trial has collected performance data under a wide range of operational and environmental conditions and provided insight into operational limitations. This paper discusses the issues that were encountered during the trial, how they were addressed, considerations for adoption of new technology, and concludes with a discussion reflecting on the achievements of this research program.