Network Rail in the UK has tested a new technology that will help in reducing level crossing waiting times across the country.
According to a PA Media report, the technology will be available for deployment at ‘complex’ crossings following the successful trial.
Unlike conventional systems, the new technology is capable of distinguishing between trains that halt at a nearby station and those passing through without stopping. This will enable activating warning alarms for a shorter period of time.
The current technology sounds alarms anywhere between 30 seconds and five minutes, often resulting in lengthy waits at the crossings.
The installation of the new system will reduce this alarm time to 18-25 seconds, and an associated traffic light will guide the users when it is safe to cross.
A pedestrian crossing in Stonehouse, Gloucestershire, was one of the first to be equipped with the new technology.
Network Rail’s western route level crossing manager Richard Pedley was quoted by the agency as saying: “We’re pleased that this trial has proved so successful and provides a great example for rollout at similar level crossings nationwide where trains are likely to stop close by.
“The red/green light system, with its consistent warning time, will improve the confidence of users who need to cross the railway and reduce the amount of safety incidents.”
There are nearly 6,000 level crossings in Britain.
According to the Rail Safety and Standards Board figures, seven pedestrians lost their lives after they were hit by trains at level crossings in the 12-month period to March.
Network Rail recently announced that it will invest £120m to improve railway electrification in Scotland.