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The National Academies

Transit IDEA J-04/IDEA 68 [Completed (IDEA)]

Light Rail Transit / Street Grade Crossing Safety System
[ TCRP J-04 (Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis--The Transit IDEA Program) ]

  Project Data
Staff Responsibility: Jon M. Williams
Research Agency: SIL4 Systems
Principal Investigator: Carl E Conti
Completion Date: 6/19/2014
Fiscal Year: 2011

SIL4 Systems Inc. performed Transit IDEA project 68 to develop and test an intelligent Light Rail Transit / Street Grade Safety System that can be used by Light Rail Transit Systems.

The concept investigated and developed in this project is active, adaptive, alert, and improves recording of crossing incidents for the approaching Light Rail Vehicle (LRV) its operator and the pedestrian, motorist, and/or worker at the crossing. An outline of the system features and impacts are listed here:

FEATURE                                                          IMPACT
1 Active System – Alerts Operator                       Improved alertness/response time of operator
2 Active System – Alerts Trespasser/worker        Improved alertness/response t of person at risk
3 Improved alertness/response time                    Actively alerts operator and pedestrian/motorist
4 Active System – Applies Brakes                       Actively alerts operator then applies brakes
5 Adaptive – works only when train approaches   Avoids false triggers
6 Comprehensive Record                                   Records events on the train and in the crossing.
7 Adaptable / Portable                                       Can be set-up in temporary work areas.

The above features 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 are implemented and achieved by the system such it that can activate the crossing light/alarm from the vehicle given the preset “time to crossing” programmed to 20 seconds. At this point, the HRC package can then communicate to surface traffic controllers or gate mechanisms, or additional surface traffic lights/alarms via WiFi or Cellular networks; or relay logic interface. Feature 6, a comprehensive record, is achieved via the on-board Data Logger/Event Recorder along with a Network Video Recorder record. Feature 7, the HRC package being compact, low profile and under 10 lbs can easily be mounted on a battery / work area lighting cart for temporary work area applications. Since it has and Onboard Global Positioning System, it can report its location wherever it is set-up.

The contractor's final report is available.

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