Trackside Work Safety


Rail track side work is carried out after taking track possession and ensuring that no live railway traffic is actively using the chosen segment. Personal Track Safety (PTS) Certification is compulsory for all track workers before they can undertake track side work safely. PTS training provides extensive training to workers on how to work safely, in a group, understand railway signs and safety markers, set-out a safe working zone and ensure that appropriate paperwork is signed when taking and giving possession that confirms that no tools people have been left behind and that all work has been completed fully without risking future rail operations. Trackside work is difficult and involves heavy loads and concentration, e.g. welding, sleeper replacements, relaying the rail and so on. Most of it is carried out at night time in open weather conditions which can be difficult during extreme heat and snow. It is easy to lose focus or not release track on time which may compromise safety. In parallel, by mistake any rolling stock operating on the same section where it was not supposed to can create major risk to life and limb.

The current approach is where each group of workers is managed by a group leader who has expertise in managing people and work and is responsible for managing Health and Safety for trackside work. They need to monitor all workers at all times and ensure their safety. This approach carries the risk where some staff may move to track sections they are not allowed to, or may not leave track section in good time after the end of possession period causing a safety hazard. A comprehensive personnel tracking system is needed that is able to provide a live view of track worker positions during possession period to a central command centre. AI based algorithms at server end can monitor personnel mobility data and communicate an alarm to those who are at risk. The system can be further integrated with Positive Train control that can brake the train ahead of time if track maintenance workforce is operating on the same track ahead of the train.

RV System Architecture

RV Solution to this problem is a system architecture built using Ultra Wide Band tracking system using a combination of tags worn by railside workers and beacons or anchors that receive data from these tags and relay the data to a central server system. The central system uses AI based analytic tools to identify situations where an alarm should be raised and transfers this data back to individual workers.

Rail personnel tracking using a ultra-wide band system architecture