Network Rail Technology Development Call – Track Worker Safety Innovation

In this Technology Development Call, Connected Places Catapult are reaching out to the UK industry to support Network Rail to create and trial an innovative solution which will protect track workers as they undertake maintenance on the UK’s rail network. 

Undertaking maintenance operations on the rail network requires safety of the workforce to be a primary concern. Much effort is already placed on ensuring the safety of trackside workers, but what more could be done? A well-documented process already exists to close sections of track and set signals to red, which is implemented in conjunction with signalling staff. However, to give the workers on track an extra level of protection and, just as importantly, piece of mind that the signals are set correctly, Network Rail are looking to develop an innovative solution which the track workers can additionally operate or deploy themselves prior to working on the tracks and signallers should not be able to override this additional safety. 

Devices which achieve this are already in use for sections of track monitored using ‘track circuits’, but as yet no equivalent tools or approaches exist where ‘axle counters’ used to monitor traffic on the line. Therefore, we’re looking for organisations who can help Network Rail to develop a prototype approach or device at pace for axle counter controlled track sections which they can trial. At this stage, we’re not looking for a fully costed proposal, just an indication in the first instance of any experience relevant either to the application area or comparable ones, and an indication of what solution you might propose to achieve the aims described in the request. 

For more information about the request and how to respond, please click this link.

In addition, a webinar will be held on 15th April to further explain the background of this technology development call and what we’re asking for. To sign up for this event, please visit our events page.

Image: courtesy of Frauscher (https://railway-news.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Frauscher)
Image: courtesy of Thales Group (https://www.thalesgroup.com/sites/default/files/database/d7/assets/images/)

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