Closed-network rail operators often rely on locomotive drivers to adhere to speed limits and to prevent collisions between trains. While this is practical and works most of the time, reliance on people alone presents a significant risk. Fortunately, modern technology provides the opportunity to greatly reduce this risk, or eliminate it altogether. It is for these reasons that we have produced Dynatrack – an interactive collision avoidance and speed monitoring system.
Dynatrack works alongside the locomotive driver, continually monitoring the situation and warning of any potential hazards, taking action when the hazards are confirmed. The adoption of this independent, intelligent fall-back system provides an additional but significant safety layer.
How it Works
Dynatrack is based on an advanced GPS system, which provides real-time, accurate position information. This position information is used for three purposes: train operation management, speed control and collision avoidance.
Train Operation Management
Train Controllers are able to monitor train movements in real-time via the Central Monitoring System. This allows the Controllers to ensure that safety protocols are adhered to and provides the ability to remotely override train operation, by issuing a stop or de-commission commands to individual trains.
Using its position-awareness, Dynatrack ensures adherence to speed limits and restrictions based on a customised geofence database. While basic control ensures that intervention allows sufficient distance for braking, smart algorithms are employed to ensure that productivity is maximised.
Using shared position information, control units ensure that safety distance and speed requirements between trains are respected. As in Speed Control, sophisticated algorithms optimise productivity, intervening only where necessary – while maintaining complete safety.
Product Features and Highlights
On-Board, License-Free Radios
Dynatrack deploys with an on-board long-range radio system that is license-free. The radios ensure efficient, reliable communications, while avoiding annuity radio communication licensing costs.
Fall-back Radios and Repeaters
Each monitoring system is equipped with a fall-back radio with a range of 1.8km. This fall-back system provides an additional layer of security for vehicles that are in close proximity, which is the critical zone for collision avoidance.
For operations with networks that span more than 20 linear kilometres or are situated in hilly terrain, repeater units are employed to ensure that complete coverage is maintained. The repeaters simply slot into the license-free network, enhancing coverage and therefore range.
Compact and Modular
Dynatrack is extremely compact and modular – an entire on-board system can easily be carried by a single person. This approach to design was adopted to provide a high degree of accessibility and maintainability. A swap-out philosophy is adopted for repairs, ensuring rapid turn-around and minimal training requirements for local maintenance staff. Swapped-out units are returned to On-Track or our agents, where fully trained personnel assess and repair units.
Control Centre and Management System
Train transit information is continuously logged to a central database, providing a full history of train behaviour. This allows train controllers to monitor train movements in real time, or to play back historical data. Train controllers can also remotely disable one or all of the locomotives – in real-time.
Individual Logon and Enhanced Safety
Every locomotive driver is required to log in to the system, allowing monitoring and reporting on a driver-by-driver basis. Logon occurs by biometric input, or by traditional username and password. Optional integration into the Vigilance System ensures an additional layer of safety – after login and prior to moving off, a vigilance check is required.
Dynatrack is based on microprocessor technology, making it reliable, highly stable and ideal for a real-time system such as this. The control hardware has been designed for purpose and thus performs optimally, without the need for compromises and adaptations. Dedicated controller firmware removes the need for an Operating System, increasing stability while reducing costs and maintenance requirements. The microprocessors provide an instantaneous boot-up and ensure that life-cycle costs are well contained.