Australia is home to some of the world’s most unpredictable and difficult environmental conditions. Rail signalling equipment has to be able to operate safely, reliably, and durably no matter what nature throws at it. This means that signalling designers, suppliers, and installers must take into account the different elements and hazards that a piece of new equipment might be exposed to.
Check out some examples of environmental factors that can affect signalling equipment below...
Of course in extreme scenarios, damage is unavoidable, but it should be mitigated where possible. Externally mounted equipment is particularly susceptible to damage from the elements. This includes:
a) ‘track mounted’ equipment (like a automatic train stop), which is mounted directly or indirectly to rails, sleepers, transoms, track slabs, ballasts or bridges; and
2) ‘off-track’ equipment, which is mounted in the vicinity of running rail (think signal boxes and level crossings)
For example, in December 2019, bushfires destroyed signalling equipment throughout the Blue Mountains area, including at the historic Zig Zag railway...
So, how does signalling equipment take into account these environmental factors?