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Technical Reports

State-of-the-Art Technologies for Intrusion and Obstacle Detection for Railroad Operations

  • 01
  • Feb
  • 2007
AUTHOR: Marco P. daSilva and William Baron
OFFICE: RPD
REPORT NUMBER: DOT/FRA/ORD-07/06
KEYWORDS: Obstacle detection, obstacle intrusion systems, intrusion detection, alternative detection

This report provides an update on the state-of-the-art technologies with intrusion and obstacle detection capabilities for rail rights
of way (ROW) and crossings. A workshop entitled Intruder and Obstacle Detection Systems (IODS) for Railroads Requirements
was held in 1998, and the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center published the proceedings in 2001. A suite of possible
alternative detection technology systems were then field-tested; the results were published in 2003. A host of novel approaches to
detection involving existing and emerging technologies have since appeared. This report identifies these new non-track circuitbased
approaches and methods of identifying obstacles and intruders on the ROW and at crossings. The results obtained from this
analysis provide a technology update for the Federal Railroad Administration, as well as recommend potential technology concepts
for future field testing. The application of intrusion and obstacle detection or remote sensing technologies would serve to improve
the safety of rail passengers and road users, as well as protect the general population and environment from the risks associated
with hazmat shipments, and aid in the relief of congestion by reducing the number of incidents and delays due to those incidents.

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