ARTC introduces 3G warning system for rail workers

Device pinpoints train movements using GPS and Telstra’s NextG network

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) has launched a mobile rail safety system which uses GPS and Telstra’s NextG network to alert rail workers when trains are coming.

The Track Awareness Support System (TASS) is comprised of a beacon and tripod. It uses the NextG network for data connections and GPS reports from digital radios operated by train drivers to detect the location of trains. When one approaches, TASS sets off a siren and flashing lights to warn track workers.

Mike van de Worp, ARTC technical services executive general manager, said in a statement that trains can take over a kilometre to stop.

“Having an additional layer of safety that ensures track workers are clear of a work site when a train is passing through can only be a positive move.

“The mobility of the system and the reach of ARTC‟s national train radio network ensures our maintenance teams can easily deploy the TASS system in the remote corners of Australia that we work, including along the Nullarbor and the far west of the New South Wales outback.”

TASS has been undergoing a live field trial since June at locations across New South Wales including the North Coast and Hunter Valley. The units cost $5,000 each to produce.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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