Development Of A Network Level Crossing System
Free (open access)
421 - 430
M. Teramoto, S. Itoya, T. Ambe, Y. Kansaku, T. Yasumoto, Y. Konno, Y. Fukuta
A level crossing which is a cross point between an automobile road and a railroad is unavoidable for a railway operator. Of course, the safety at a level crossing is top priority and, at the same time, we have to consider the convenience and availability for passers by (pedestrians, vehicles, etc.).
Basically, a current level crossing controller is a standalone device. Once it detects a fault, such as lightning stroke damage to a train sensor, it makes/keeps warning according to the fail-safe philosophy and stops passers by entering the train area.
However, this long time warning causes not only inconvenience for the passer by but also dangerous situations. For example, it may interrupt emergency vehicles, or it may cause situations where a frustrated passer by would run through the level crossing barriers and enter the train area.
Recent ICT (information communication technology) progress has been applied to solve our issues. We have developed a network level crossing system. More than three level crossing controllers are connected through the Ethernet LAN connection to exchange their operational data. At normal state, they are operating as stand-alone machines, once one controller detects a problem, it operates not by means of its own data but by another controller’s data. As a result, by a degraded level crossing function, passers by need not undergo unnecessary extensive warning.
We have produced the network level crossing system experimentally and examined it in house. Numerical estimation using actual train operation data shows that in cases of malfunction of a train detector, the current level crossing system warns every time, whereas our system warns only 18.7% of the time. It means that the current system completely blocks passers by and our system provides many chances to pass the level crossing. Our system achieves the convenience and availability of level crossings. In addition, it improves the safety of level crossings. Furthermore, it is expected to achieve the safety and convenience of level crossings as a next generation level crossing system.
level crossing, long time warning, network, Ethernet, microelectronic level crossing controller