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Track Circuits Versus Wheel Detection

Wheel detection and axle counting systems provide the basic information for track vacancy detection, for controlling level crossing systems and a range of switching tasks or trigger functions. This technology is established throughout the world for standard gauge railways and is increasingly replacing track circuits.

The requirements and the framework conditions in rail-based public transportation systems do, however, differ significantly from those in the standard-gauge railway and long distance track sectors. Nevertheless, in this segment too there is a clear trend towards wheel detection and axle counting systems.

This white paper offers an overview of the specific features of public transport and the resulting challenges for track circuits and for wheel detection and axle counting systems. The advantages and disadvantages of the individual technologies are compared.

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