Open YPEC 2022

ON07 – RFID Turnout Alert System

Human error is the major cause of unsafe locomotive movement in railway incidents. Particularly, “Signal passed at danger” (SPAD) due to unnoticed point status is the pain point of manual train operation. With the novel solution RFID Turnout Alert System (RTAS), locomotive operators can be acknowledged with approaching turnouts. Thus, RTAS safeguards the train movement under manual control and enhances operators’ safety awareness. RTAS is designed with RFID technologies, Raspberry Pi and Python. The RFID Antenna on locomotives can be activated by RFID Tags mounted on track, generate signal to display unit. Comparing to BLE solution, the trial data shows that RFID has higher accuracy and less interference to trackside equipment. It is also highly maintainable which the system can detect unavailable tags automatically. RTAS was proved in Pat Heung Depot (PHD), successfully to deliver both visual and audio alarm, alerting operators to stop the vehicle before the stopping mark. RTAS is capable of integration with Point Position Indictor (PPI). Eventually, PPI can be obtained remotely on train, allowing smoother and safer locomotive operation. In short, RTAS not only enhance our staffs’ awareness on passing through turnout, with further PPI development, it can greatly facilitate our depot operation communication.