|2011 - March - Morris - Track Maintenance Impacts of Train Detection Systems or Why Ballast Regulators Have Windows|
Adam Morris BE(Hons), Dip PM, MIEAust, MAIPM
When considering railway signalling, track or structures, it is important to consider that each of these are merely sub-systems of the larger system we call the railway. The configuration of any one system can impact on any other and the often fraught relationship between track and signals is certainly no exception.
The various train detection systems all impact in different ways on the track and in particular track maintenance activities. The need to supply signalling support to track maintenance is often overlooked in considering the whole of life costs of train detection systems.
There can scarcely be a signal engineer or technician without a horror story of the damage wrought by clumsy, unprepared track crews, especially that dreaded combination of ballast tamper and regulator. But is it all their fault? Perway crews know that this equipment is deliberately put in the worst possible location or cunningly camouflaged just to annoy them.
This paper examines the impacts between the various types of train detection systems, including track circuits and axle counters and other ancillary track mounted or near-track equipment on track maintenance practices. It also includes a brief commentary on the case for the need to detect broken rails.