Hitachi has been working hard on working safe – launching their latest innovation in rail safety in 2021 — Trackside Guardian — a novel system that offers both increased safety and improved efficiency.
This system will operate in parallel with the existing processes, independently calculating what signalling protection is required to protect a worksite, and doesn’t require any lineside equipment, although if devices such as TCODs are present it can interface with them. It formalises communication between trackside and signalling staff and displays information about signalling protection to both. By monitoring lineside infrastructure, it can provide warnings about unexpected events, such as SPADs or runaway vehicles that approach a line blockage, and it can filter out potentially unsafe commands by sitting between signalling control systems, including panels and VDU-based workstations, and relay or electronic interlockings, without needing changes to either of them.
The bottom line is that working trackside can be dangerous
Developing support systems for safety in the Rail industry has always been at the heart of Hitachi Information Control Systems Europe Ltd – and never more so than now, with recent rail incidents sharpening the industry’s focus on track workers, and in particular their exposure to moving trains.
“The key to our new system is communication – formalising this between trackside and signalling staff and displaying real-time information about signalling protection to both parties,” says Denise Watkins, Head of Sales “We can monitor lineside infrastructure, providing warnings about unexpected events and filtering out potentially unsafe commands by sitting between signalling control systems.”
Developing Case Uses
Further twists and turns have been made in the process, with Trackside Guardian sitting front and foremost and seen as a much-needed additional safety layer and giving a reduction in workload for the Signaller when work teams need to cross the Line.
This development has opened-up further discussions and possibilities to look at what other features can be implemented to increase safety and help Signallers to manage their increasing workload.
Opportunities for collaboration with other suppliers are being explored with the aim of developing seamless end-to-end solutions to not only improve safety for frontline workers but also create efficiencies meaning more can be done for less – very important in the post-pandemic world.
For more information on the exciting concepts, technology and developments being made and how Hitachi can help support your business, check out its website on
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