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Introducing Automated Obstacle Detection to British Level Crossings

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Marin Marinov



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


This paper discusses the implementation of automated obstacle detection to British level crossings to improve safety, efficiency and reduce costs and analyses how successful this could be. There are over 6000 level crossings in Britain and they are the largest single risk to the railways; one method to improve their safety is by introducing automated obstacle detection. Over the last ten years there have been, on average, 9 deaths a year at level crossings (Rail Safety and Standards Board, 2016) (excluding suicides), making them a high priority for Network Rail to improve. Obstacle detection wouldn’t just help improve the safety of level crossings, but it could also reduce the costs associated with level crossing signallers and operators and would lower the waiting times for road vehicles and pedestrians. With research also being done into the future possibility of introducing autonomous trains to the British railways, the combination of this and the obstacle detection system proposed could see a large improvement in safety across the level crossings.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Dent M, Marinov M

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: RailExchange

Year of Conference: 2017

Print publication date: 06/10/2017

Acceptance date: 04/10/2017

Date deposited: 28/08/2017

Publisher: Springer