Track safety system monitors risk of track buckling
Network Rail has approved an innovative new Rail Temperature Monitor (RTM) system developed by telemetry specialist Radio-Tech. The fully automatic, battery powered system is the first solution specifically designed for critical rail temperature management to gain Network Rail approval. It enables temperatures to be monitored constantly, anywhere on the network, providing early warning of the risk of track buckling without endangering personnel.
Currently, temperature monitoring is carried out manually at previously assessed critical areas by personnel on-track. To increase safety for staff and provide a more efficient system of temperature monitoring Radio-Tech developed the new RTM system. The system monitors temperatures automatically and can be deployed anywhere on the rail network including tunnel mouths, cuttings, areas liable to flooding and restricted areas such as red zone working prohibited areas.
Up to eight non-invasive rail-mounted temperature probes at each location transmit to a track-side wireless data logger with a 70 metre reception radius. This in turn reports back to the central server running the RTM application software, where temperatures can be monitored. The server can also export data over the internet, an intranet or via SMS text message, enabling personnel to remotely access all information.
Installation is quick and simple. The RTM temperature transmitters can be fitted to all present day flat bottom rail sections in less than a minute without tools. They share the same physical profile as insulator clips so are invisible to vandals and resistant to tamping. The system is fully battery powered so no cables are at risk. The temperature probe’s battery life is 6 to 10 years and the data logger’s batteries last up to a year. The system features anti-detachment, anti-tamper and anti-tilt alarms, low battery alarms, backup batteries and full error detection.