Bombardier Transportation has partnered with the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) to demonstrate a RFID-enabled safety solution, which improves the safety of track-side rail workers.
For the demonstration project, Bombardier has developed a turnkey solution called TrackSafe that uses RFID and other technology to create improved location awareness for track workers and train operators.
TrackSafe alerts track workers by providing advance warning of an approaching train, through flashing lights and audible horns, as well as warning train operators if they are about to enter an area where track workers are working.
The solution gives real-time alerts to track workers through high-frequency RFID tags tied to wristbands worn by employees, while the RFID readers and motion sensors fitted along the tracks send alerts about the coming train.
Bombardier Transportation North America vice president of services business unit Matt Byrne said: "Bombardier's TrackSafe solution reduces the hazards associated with track level inspections and maintenance."
Previously, the US Federal Transit Administration (FTA) had approved the Bombardier/MARTA project, following a request for proposals.
According to FTA statistics, 53% of rail transit worker fatalities reported between 2003 and 2008 occurred along a railroad's right-of-way, making track inspection one of the most hazardous jobs in the rail industry.
The company said that since the arrival of subway operations, the task of inspecting and maintaining track, signals and related wayside infrastructure has been essential in moving millions of people every day.
For the demonstration project, the equipment will be installed between Ashby and Bankhead stations on MARTA's green line.
Image: Bombrdier's TrackSafe technology uses RFID and other technology to create improved location awareness for track workers and train operators. Image: courtesy of Bombrdier.