23 April 2020
Together, ProRail, ILT, Strukton Rail and DB Cargo, in collaboration with Dual Inventive, carried out a successful pilot with the RCS 3000 (Remote Control Signal), in the Netherlands, to make work on the track at marshalling yards safer and more efficient. With this remotely controlled red signal, you can secure the worksite via an app and the MTinfo 3000 cloud. Thanks to this innovative technology, employees no longer have to go out onto the track to install signal 513 signs (similar to possession limit boards).
In order to protect worksites, particularly in these areas, against unplanned train movements, signal 513 signs are installed. However, in doing this, staff must enter the rail corridor whilst only partially protected. In addition, the installation of signal 513 is both time consuming and labour-intensive and this cumbersome procedure meant that safety measures were insufficiently implemented at the Kijfhoek marshalling yard in the Netherlands. This led to several safety incidents in the summer of 2018, as a result of which Kijfhoek came under closer supervision by ILT (Environmental and Transport Inspectorate).
Remotely controlled red signal
That’s why ProRail and Strukton Rail turned to Dual Inventive for a simple, reliable and safe solution. They were looking for another type of signal with the same function as signal 513 (“stop before signal”) and this was the signal 512b (“red light”), the appearance of which, however, is not described in the Signaling Rulebook.
Dual Inventive developed a new remotely controlled red signal, which can be switched on and off via the MTinfo 3000 app on a mobile phone or tablet via the cloud. This is the same app that also controls the ZKL 3000 RC (Remote Controlled T-COD).
Using existing technology, Dual Inventive was able to show a working concept in their Fieldlab Rail environment within just two weeks. This is a railway environment with two track sections where anyone can develop and test new technologies.
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RCS 3000 at Kijfhoek
Last year, Dual Inventive started a pilot project at Kijfhoek, in close cooperation with ProRail, ILT, Strukton Rail and DB Cargo. Strukton Rail installed twenty RCS 3000’s for this project, eliminating almost all of the signal 513 signs. A major part of this pilot project is to investigate the human factors element, particularly the interaction with train drivers (i.e. whether the signal is clearly visible and the assignment of the signal is clear). Images of this can be seen in the video RCS 3000 (Signal 512b). The results are very satisfactory, and all train drivers stopped in time.
The pilot made clear that the use of the remotely controlled RCS 3000 results in a time gain of up to 30 minutes per possession and, thanks to the RCS 3000, safety measures can be implemented quickly and safely, with the added benefit that the end of the worksite is now more visible for both incoming and outgoing traffic.
This successful pilot proves that it is possible for big steps forward in terms of workforce safety at marshalling yards and the RCS 3000 could event prove to be an innovative solution to replace all signal 513 signs in the Netherlands.
If you would like more information, please contact colleague Marleen via firstname.lastname@example.org
RailTech.com: Pilot with remotely controlled red signal: train drivers react positively