ARTC launches TASS track awareness technology

The Australian Rail Track Corporation launches its new Australian-designed mobile rail safety innovation at National Rail safety Week

ARTC launches TASS track awareness technology
ARTC launches TASS track awareness technology

August 16, 2013

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) launched its new, Australian-designed and tested mobile rail safety innovation at
National Rail Safety Week.

The Track Awareness Support System (TASS) is a unique, portable device which warns rail safety workers of incoming trains.

Comprised of a beacon and a tripod, the TASS pinpoints train movements using GPS and NextG technology. When locomotives reach a certain distance from track workers they are alerted via a siren and flashing lights.

"Trains can take well over a kilometre to come to a stop, so having an additional layer of safety that ensures track workers are clear of a work site when a train is passing through can only be a positive move," says ARTC Executive General Manager Technical Services Mike van de Worp.

Weighing in at less than ten kilograms, the beacons have been designed to be robust, portable, quick to setup and easy to use.

van de Worp says is an important feature which helps railway protection staff deploy the system easily and stay focused on safely delivering the key job at hand.

"The mobility of the system and the reach of ARTC’s 3G national train radio network ensures our maintenance teams can easily deploy the TASS system in the remote corners of Australia," van de Worp says.

"This includes along the Nullarbor and the far west of the NSW outback."

TASS has been undergoing a four-month live field trial at locations across NSW since June, including the North Coast, Hunter Valley and Main Southern Line toward Melbourne.

"It’s appropriate that we get to show-off TASS during National Rail Safety Week – a system that will be of great benefit to our staff and promotes our safety goal that no-one is harmed at work or on our network," van de Worp adds.

"It seems a simple device, but a lot of planning and hard work has gone into the design and development of TASS and the software behind it.

"Like the iPhone it is this simplicity which makes it so brilliant."

The TASS units cost around $5,000 each to produce and the system is designed to complement existing rail safety rules and procedures.

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