The use of using cleaner energy (zero emissions) transportation has become a key focus in the North America even within rail transportation. Within in North America the migration from Diesel to Electric Locomotives, utilizing overhead catenary systems with voltages in the 25kV range for passenger trains has become the standard. In addition, “Shared-Use Rail Corridors” have become more prevalent in North America (USA and Canada), the use of Constant Warning Time Devices (CWTD) based on a change of inductance in the rail are less reliable within Electrified railroads.
With shared use track, it is understood that a difference exists between freight and passenger train speeds, resulting in the need for other methods to detect and determine the correct approach times become a priority. Implementing Computer-Based Train Control (CBTC) systems or Positive Train Control (PTC) technology can mitigate the problem if they communicate / request highway crossing activation. But in locations where PTC is not being installed or in Canada where it is not required, other methods need to be explored. This paper will review and analyze the following:
1. Review the existing systems being deployed;
2. Evaluate the deployed systems effectiveness;
3. Test and record data using various innovative technologies including: Axle counters determining speed of approaching train, acceleration (+ / −);
4. Conclusion for the integrating new axle counter technologies and existing track circuits.