Waiting times at level crossings are set to be cut to 18-25 seconds thanks to new technology which recognises whether an approaching train is fast or slow, and whether it is going to stop at a station.
Pedestrians and cyclists often face lengthy and inconsistent waits as the alarm for approaching trains sounds for anywhere between 30 seconds and five minutes. This is because the current system cannot detect if the train is stopping at the station or passing non-stop.
The Telegraph reports that Network Rail has undertaken a successful trial of a speed-detection technique which means it will be available for use at “complex” crossings nationwide, enhancing safety across the whole of the UK rail network.
The system is different to traditional methods as it differentiates between trains calling at a nearby station and those passing through without stopping, meaning that warning alarms need to be activated only for a significantly shorter period.
The new technology means that the alarm now only needs to sound for 18-25 seconds, and a traffic light has been installed to clarify when it is safe to cross.
It quotes Richard Pedley, Network Rail’s western route level crossing manager, saying: “We’re pleased that this trial has proved so successful and provides a great example for rollout at similar level crossings nationwide where trains are likely to stop close by.
“The red/green light system, with its consistent warning time, will improve the confidence of users who need to cross the railway and reduce the amount of safety incidents.”
(Picture – Yay Images)