Posted: October 2019
4.7 million rail passengers traveled on a long distance route in the US last year, an increase of 3% compared to the previous year. There is a constant program of maintenance covering the inspection and repair of tracks, bridges, tunnels, viaducts, fencing and embankments, as well as seasonal issues to be managed such as snow clearance and storm damage repair.
Maintenance personnel have access to a wide variety of vehicles to carry out these tasks. A high output ballast cleaner is half a mile long and consists of power cars, 22 empty wagons for ballast waste, a ballast cleaner, a dynamic track stabilizer and 22 wagons of new ballast. Some vehicles are able to travel on roads as well as railway tracks, including diggers, track movers, flash butt welders for welding rails and ballast distributors.
However, safety issues surrounding these mobile machines were put in the spotlight last year following an increase in rail road incidents. Since 2014, incidents have been increasing year on year with 878 recorded last year alone.
A recent report into an incident produced by the RAIB (Rail Accident Investigation Branch) concluded that lack of driver visibility was one of the fundamental contributing causes. The design of the ballast distributor meant that there was very limited visibility of the line ahead when it was being driven in reverse. In addition, no-one was controlling its movements from the ground, in direct contravention of the railway rule book and vehicle-specific operational restrictions. One of the resulting recommendations made by the RAIB was to consider controls for maintaining visibility of the line ahead.
Our range of commercial vehicle safety products can help protect vulnerable workers while carrying out maintenance on the railways. Backeye®360 is an intelligent camera monitor system designed to assist low-speed maneuvering by providing the driver with a complete surround view of the vehicle in real time. Four ultra-wide-angle cameras each cover one full side of the vehicle with a viewing angle of over 180°. High-mounted on the front, rear and sides, the calibrated cameras capture all of the surrounding area including all blind spots.
Our Camera Monitor Systems enable drivers and operators to maneuver and drive safely in both on and off road situations. Vehicle-mounted CCTV cameras deliver a live feed on the monitor of everything in the camera view, eliminating blind spots and saving lives.
Here at Brigade, our priority has always been the wellbeing of your employees as they carry out their work, as well as the safety of other vulnerable road users. Get in touch and find out how we can help keep your workforce safe.