CZECH REPUBLIC: AŽD Praha has installed the first regional variant of its GateSWing GTA-100 level crossing protection system as part of a project to develop a test track for autonomous train operation under the Shift2Rail programme and the future Europe’s Rail JU.
Intended specifically as a low-cost variant of a barrier-protected crossing for use on regional lines, the equipment has been installed at Domousnice on the branch line between Dolní Bousov and Kopidlno, in the Jičín district of Hradec Králové region.
Acquired from infrastructure manager Správa Železnic in 2016, the 23 km cross-country route is the second redundant line bought by the signalling company for use as a testbed. It follows the so-called Plum Railway between Čížkovice and Obrnice, where AŽD began to operate a regular passenger service under contract to the Ústí nad Labem region in December 2019 following an extensive rehabilitation.
Work began last year on modernising the little-used Kopidlno route, where the section of line to be used for driverless train testing will be fitted with lineside fencing as well as barrier-protected crossings. As well as the GTA-100 level crossing equipment, AŽD intends to trial a new warning system for open crossings, designated GateSWing PZA-100. This will have LED warning boards and aluminium barriers with LED lights.
The company is also planning to test a remote control technology which transmits secure data and control information via a public telecommunications network, avoiding the need for lineside cabling. AŽD has already installed a Station Swing ESA 44 electronic interlocking at Dětenice, derived from equipment that it supplied to the Balkan region. This can be operated remotely using a mobile phone or tablet app, which will enable dispatchers to manage the Dolní Bousov – Kopidlno line using a public mobile data network, subject to agreement with SŽ.