Under the High Speed Rail strand of the Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis programme (HSR-IDEA), funded by the US Federal Railroad Administration and administered by the Transportation Research Board, a microwave system developed by O’Conner Engineering to activate level crossing equipment has been installed at three locations on Kansas City Southern Railway. The sites at Blanchard, Lousiana, Heavener, Oklahoma, and Joplin, Missouri, were chosen as representative of different level crossing situations.

Developed as a cheaper and more reliable alternative to activation by track circuit, the system uses frequency-modulated continuous wave processing to determine the distance of trains from the crossing, and Doppler processing for measuring train velocity. Monitoring train progress continuously, the system can detect when a train has stopped, enabling level crossing warning systems to be deactivated.

O’Conner Engineering Inc, USA

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