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Rail signals test

OPTEX’s laser detector REDSCAN has been specified as part of a new way to automate signalling and detect whether or not a level crossing is clear from vehicles and pedestrians, before allowing the train to pass through safely. After nearly two years of testing, TEW Plus Ltd, a supplier of specialist CCTV and security products, has gained full Network Rail Product Approval for its level crossing obstacle detector (LIDAR) using the REDSCAN as the core detection element.


The MCB-OD Level Crossings product incorporates the LIDAR as the Complimentary Obstacle Detector (COD) working alongside RADAR and CCTV.


Having started the first installations over the June bank holiday, the product is destined for roll out to more than 400 level crossings over the next five years. Dave Farman, Business Development Director at TEW Plus, says: “I had been looking for a viable product to meet Network Rail’s OD requirements for some time when I spotted REDSCAN at IFSEC a couple of years ago. During testing, further development was required to create special firmware to meet the stringent requirement of this solution, but the engineers at OPTEX have been very helpful with this. The system has been through extensive testing, which included the building of a rain machine the size of a level crossing to ensure that it could operate in all weather conditions. The REDSCAN is working as we expected and we are very satisfied with the way trials went and the installations are progressing.”


REDSCAN will detect a moving object’s position, size and speed and can be programmed to only go into alarm when intruders enter specific areas. Nigel Hackett, Sales Director at OPTEX Europe, says that REDSCAN sets the benchmark, delivering maximum capture rates with minimum false alarms, whatever the environment: “The level crossing detector (LIDAR) developed by TEW Plus is another example of how versatile the REDSCAN is and why it has won multiple awards. It is extremely satisfying to see that it is now being used to ensure the safety of passengers and cars at level crossings where so many accidents occur.” 


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