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Australian technology makes railway crossings safer



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13 November 1992 271/92 < % £ .

AUSTRALIAN TECHNOLOGY MAKES RAILWAY CROSSINGS SAFER

The Federal Government will provide $80,000 to assist an Adelaide company, Teknis Electronics, develop a track-warning system to improve level-crossing safety.

Federal Land Transport Minister, Bob Brown, said that Teknis Electronics, a rail signal control specialist, was developing a new device using radar to activate flashing lights or boom gates. The device will also warn engine drivers if the track is obstructed. '

'For the first time a train driver will know that something is on the track before visual contact is made giving the driver enough time to stop the train before impact', Mr Brown said.

Mr Brown said the new system would use two backside radar train-approach detectors placed 1000 metres either side of a level crossing to assess a train’s speed and arrival time and activate warning signals or boom gates. The system could operate on either conventional or solar power.

Currently most Australian level-crossing systems use expensive track-based circuit warning devices linked to flashing lights and boom gates that are activated by approaching trains.

The new device will be about half the cost of existing systems to install and maintain and has the potential to significantly reduce waiting times for traffic at crossings.

The Federal Government is contributing half the cost of funding towards its development. The total cost of the project, scheduled for completion in 1993, is estimated to be $160,000.

'Investment in Australian safety technology produces not only long-term gains in safety and transport productivity, but also helps develop export industries and creates jobs for Australians. Teknis has already received enquiries from a number of countries, including Japan and Thailand', Mr Brown said.

In conjunction with Australian National Railways, Teknis Electronics will install and test the device this year at a number of locations north of Adelaide.

There are almost 10,000 rail level crossings in Australia and about 8,000 of these provide no active warning of an approaching train.

Media inquiries: Veronika Cousens (06) 274 7612 Minister's office: Gary Kent________ (06) 277 7440

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