Frequently Asked Questions

Safety

SIL4 is the highest safety integrity level, but a level crossing may not require SIL4 based on the amount of road/rail traffic. The requirements for SIL3 and SIL4 are practically the same requirements except for the final total hazard rate where SIL4 is lower than SIL3. In regional and rural areas SIl3 is usually sufficient especially when RAXS is used as its patented fail to safe always ensures the level crossing is in a safe state.

Yes, RAXS Generic Product has been independently assessed by RGB Assurance and found to comply with the requirements of EN 50126:1999, EN 50128:2011, and EN 50129:2003 for one or more safety functions implemented to SIL 3.

RAXS has 2 measures to mitigate against axle counter miscount:
  • A secondary ‘guard’ detector is used to protect against undercount.
  • a timeout of the occupied section, for example 10min, can be used to automatically clear the section and thus the flashing lights of the level crossing

    Should an axle counter miscount cause the flashing lights to remain active it can be ultimately cleared by pressing of the RAXS reset buttons.

RAXS supports direction with axle counters, so it can detect forward and reverse movements thereby clearing the flashing lights if the train fully reverses out of the approach section.

RAXS supports direction with axle counters even at the crossing (island) so it can detect forward and reverse movements thereby clearing the flashing lights if the train fully clears the island. If the shunting train has crossed the island and the lights cease flashing can manually reactivate the flashing lights to ensure road uses have ample warning time before train passes over crossing again.

RAXS uses approved AS 1742.7-2016 Manual of uniform traffic control devices – Railway crossings signs. The signs were assessed and approved by Qld DTMR. A human factors study was done on the Stop sign with amber lights and it was shown that road users observed this sign equivalent or better to a regular Stop sign.

RAXS has fixed front and rear flashing lights. At present RAXS it does not support additional flashing lights. However AEWS can be used on the side roads to provide advanced warning.

Technology

RAXS uses Frauscher axle counter technology.

RAXS vital secure wireless communication does not use any part of the mobile network, it has a its own wireless system. RAXS does use mobile network for data logging to the RIM fault centre. The data logging communication is entirely separate to the vital secure wireless.

RAXS vital secure wireless has been assessed to meet the highest level of defences against threats defined in EN50159 for open systems (Category 3). RAXS uses advanced encryption and safety codes to detect masquerade and other threats.

RAXS can estimate the train speed at each axle counter and use this information to delay the activation of the flashing lights from when the train is first detected, this means for slow trains road users will see the same warning time. Any issue with vital communications, the flashing lights would activate immediately.

RAXS re-estimates the train speed every second and will use this to update the time it expects the train to arrive at the crossing. This will occur up until the train is fully inside the approach section. RIMs would need to have operational procedures requiring trains not to change speed over level crossings.

RAXS is like any axle counter based solution, where it can only detect the rail vehicle if any axle crosses an axle counter. Where rail vehicles stop fully inside and are not detected then the operational procedures require the manual activation of the level crossing. RAXS offer buttons to activate the flashing lights and for convenience the lights will turn off after a pre-configured time for example 180s.

RAXS batteries capacity is dimensioned to run the system for at least 10-days where there has been no charging. RSS has found that even under overcast conditions it is likely that some battery charging takes place.

RAXS alarm/fault/performance data logging is done over Telstra mobile network to the RSS Rail Crossing Management System (RCMS). The RCMS is a server application that can be hosted by the RIM or RSS and provides SCADA interface to the RIM fault management system.

RAXS uses an internet of things (IoT) modem which has a wider coverage than regular 4G mobile network handsets and in addition with the use of high gain directional antennas it can extend the coverage area even more. Should the mobile network be completely unavailable then RAXS is capable of using Satellite based modems.

Operational

Axle counters for detecting approaching train are placed at a distance where the flashing lights will be active for at least the required warning time e.g. 23s for a train traveling at line speed.

RAXS places a solar powered train detection node at the axle counter location. RAXS then uses vital secure wireless communication for the axle counter data transmission, so there is no buried cable required at all.

Where wireless communication is potentially affected by obstacles, the RAXS solution offers a radio repeater node (RRN). The RRN is placed where it can communicate with the level crossing and with the far train detection node.

RAXS vital secure wireless uses a number of defences against interference:

  • It uses 2 radios that operate in parallel at different frequencies – RAXS will operate without degradation on just 1 radio
  • Both radios use frequency hopping spread spectrum communication to avoid spot frequency interference
  • Messages are sent multiples times (repeat) on both radios
  • New messages are sent every second
  • No one-shot axle counts, so any total loss of messages in one second the axle counts will be communicated in the next second.

RAXS vital secure wireless communication is rated for distances in excess of 1200m. For even far greater distance a radio relay node can be used giving potential distances in excess of 2km.

RAXS supports axle counters to be placed either side of the road and these axle counters are used to clear the flashing lights when the tail of the train passes over them. An additional guard time of, for example 3s , can be used to protect against a miscount casing premature extinguishing of the flashing lights.

RAXS supports sidings on either (or both) sides of the level crossing. RAXS allows for different line speeds on the mainline compared to sidings.

RAXS can support sidings either side or both sides, or it can support dual track, other track topologies are presently not supported.

RAXS supports an active sign with yellow flashing lights (AEWS) that can be located for example 200m away from the crossing. The AEWS is solar powered and uses the same vital secure wireless communication. The AEWS can be set up to activate in advance of the crossing red lights if required – similar to what is done for the yellow light boards on highways. Up to 4 AEWS can be used at a level crossing.

Future Developments

In rural areas the use of boom gates can create issues when they are down under fault for an extended period. It is shown that drivers will simply drive around the down gate. RIMs will often prefer flashing light only treatments especially in rural areas to mitigate the issue. Present RAXS is flashing lights only with an option for a warning bell. A RAXS boom gate option is in development and will be available in the second half of 2023.

RAXS supports dual track and supports additional axle counters to hold the crossing active should a subsequent train on the other track be approaching the level crossing as the first train departs

RSS has future plans where its vital secure wireless technology can be used for other vital signalling applications.

RSS is developing a private level crossing version, available in the second half of 2023. Whilst the type of crossing required for private crossings is a matter for negotiation between the landowner and the RIM it should be noted that in Queensland, for example, regular signage is still required on private level crossings.

Other

RSS has a fully developed training course for maintenance staff. RSS has a recommended spares list that can be used.

We are an Australian manufacturer using Australian metalwork providers. All engineering R&D design skills and technical support are local. While the system maybe called bespoke the upside is that you are not beholden to overseas suppliers and overseas R&D groups with other priorities.

Safety

SIL4 is the highest safety integrity level, but a level crossing may not require SIL4 based on the amount of road/rail traffic. The requirements for SIL3 and SIL4 are practically the same requirements except for the final total hazard rate where SIL4 is lower than SIL3. In regional and rural areas SIl3 is usually sufficient especially when RAXS is used as its patented fail to safe always ensures the level crossing is in a safe state.

Yes, RAXS Generic Product has been independently assessed by RGB Assurance and found to comply with the requirements of EN 50126:1999, EN 50128:2011, and EN 50129:2003 for one or more safety functions implemented to SIL 3.

RAXS has 2 measures to mitigate against axle counter miscount:
  • A secondary ‘guard’ detector is used to protect against undercount.
  • a timeout of the occupied section, for example 10min, can be used to automatically clear the section and thus the flashing lights of the level crossing

    Should an axle counter miscount cause the flashing lights to remain active it can be ultimately cleared by pressing of the RAXS reset buttons.

RAXS supports direction with axle counters, so it can detect forward and reverse movements thereby clearing the flashing lights if the train fully reverses out of the approach section.

RAXS supports direction with axle counters even at the crossing (island) so it can detect forward and reverse movements thereby clearing the flashing lights if the train fully clears the island. If the shunting train has crossed the island and the lights cease flashing can manually reactivate the flashing lights to ensure road uses have ample warning time before train passes over crossing again.

RAXS uses approved AS 1742.7-2016 Manual of uniform traffic control devices – Railway crossings signs. The signs were assessed and approved by Qld DTMR. A human factors study was done on the Stop sign with amber lights and it was shown that road users observed this sign equivalent or better to a regular Stop sign.

RAXS has fixed front and rear flashing lights. At present RAXS it does not support additional flashing lights. However AEWS can be used on the side roads to provide advanced warning.

Technology

RAXS uses Frauscher axle counter technology.

RAXS vital secure wireless communication does not use any part of the mobile network, it has a its own wireless system. RAXS does use mobile network for data logging to the RIM fault centre. The data logging communication is entirely separate to the vital secure wireless.

RAXS vital secure wireless has been assessed to meet the highest level of defences against threats defined in EN50159 for open systems (Category 3). RAXS uses advanced encryption and safety codes to detect masquerade and other threats.

RAXS can estimate the train speed at each axle counter and use this information to delay the activation of the flashing lights from when the train is first detected, this means for slow trains road users will see the same warning time. Any issue with vital communications, the flashing lights would activate immediately.

RAXS re-estimates the train speed every second and will use this to update the time it expects the train to arrive at the crossing. This will occur up until the train is fully inside the approach section. RIMs would need to have operational procedures requiring trains not to change speed over level crossings.

RAXS is like any axle counter based solution, where it can only detect the rail vehicle if any axle crosses an axle counter. Where rail vehicles stop fully inside and are not detected then the operational procedures require the manual activation of the level crossing. RAXS offer buttons to activate the flashing lights and for convenience the lights will turn off after a pre-configured time for example 180s.

RAXS batteries capacity is dimensioned to run the system for at least 10-days where there has been no charging. RSS has found that even under overcast conditions it is likely that some battery charging takes place.

RAXS alarm/fault/performance data logging is done over Telstra mobile network to the RSS Rail Crossing Management System (RCMS). The RCMS is a server application that can be hosted by the RIM or RSS and provides SCADA interface to the RIM fault management system.

RAXS uses an internet of things (IoT) modem which has a wider coverage than regular 4G mobile network handsets and in addition with the use of high gain directional antennas it can extend the coverage area even more. Should the mobile network be completely unavailable then RAXS is capable of using Satellite based modems.

Operational

Axle counters for detecting approaching train are placed at a distance where the flashing lights will be active for at least the required warning time e.g. 23s for a train traveling at line speed.

RAXS places a solar powered train detection node at the axle counter location. RAXS then uses vital secure wireless communication for the axle counter data transmission, so there is no buried cable required at all.

Where wireless communication is potentially affected by obstacles, the RAXS solution offers a radio repeater node (RRN). The RRN is placed where it can communicate with the level crossing and with the far train detection node.

RAXS vital secure wireless uses a number of defences against interference:

  • It uses 2 radios that operate in parallel at different frequencies – RAXS will operate without degradation on just 1 radio
  • Both radios use frequency hopping spread spectrum communication to avoid spot frequency interference
  • Messages are sent multiples times (repeat) on both radios
  • New messages are sent every second
  • No one-shot axle counts, so any total loss of messages in one second the axle counts will be communicated in the next second.

RAXS vital secure wireless communication is rated for distances in excess of 1200m. For even far greater distance a radio relay node can be used giving potential distances in excess of 2km.

RAXS supports axle counters to be placed either side of the road and these axle counters are used to clear the flashing lights when the tail of the train passes over them. An additional guard time of, for example 3s , can be used to protect against a miscount casing premature extinguishing of the flashing lights.

RAXS supports sidings on either (or both) sides of the level crossing. RAXS allows for different line speeds on the mainline compared to sidings.

RAXS can support sidings either side or both sides, or it can support dual track, other track topologies are presently not supported.

RAXS supports an active sign with yellow flashing lights (AEWS) that can be located for example 200m away from the crossing. The AEWS is solar powered and uses the same vital secure wireless communication. The AEWS can be set up to activate in advance of the crossing red lights if required – similar to what is done for the yellow light boards on highways. Up to 4 AEWS can be used at a level crossing.

Future Developments

In rural areas the use of boom gates can create issues when they are down under fault for an extended period. It is shown that drivers will simply drive around the down gate. RIMs will often prefer flashing light only treatments especially in rural areas to mitigate the issue. Present RAXS is flashing lights only with an option for a warning bell. A RAXS boom gate option is in development and will be available in the second half of 2023.

RAXS supports dual track and supports additional axle counters to hold the crossing active should a subsequent train on the other track be approaching the level crossing as the first train departs

RSS has future plans where its vital secure wireless technology can be used for other vital signalling applications.

RSS is developing a private level crossing version, available in the second half of 2023. Whilst the type of crossing required for private crossings is a matter for negotiation between the landowner and the RIM it should be noted that in Queensland, for example, regular signage is still required on private level crossings.

Other

RSS has a fully developed training course for maintenance staff. RSS has a recommended spares list that can be used.

We are an Australian manufacturer using Australian metalwork providers. All engineering R&D design skills and technical support are local. While the system maybe called bespoke the upside is that you are not beholden to overseas suppliers and overseas R&D groups with other priorities.