29 August 2022
SYSTRA and the German company Zöllner will present an automatic audible and visual warning solution for railway workers at the InnoTrans trade fair in Berlin from 20 to 23 September.

The new automatic track warning system (ATWS) co-developed by SYSTRA and Zöllner provides a response to the increasing safety requirements for work on railway lines[1].

Existing solution with look-outs have their limitations. They require significant human resources, sometimes even greater than those necessary for the work, and are difficult to mobilise at any time of the day. They are also costly for the operator, as maintenance and regeneration work is often carried out at night due to the density and pace of daytime traffic.

Operational efficiency and simplicity of deployment

The new automatic audio and audible and visual warning system co-developed by SYSTRA and Zöllner is a simpler and a more efficient solution than existing systems.

Image of a field device, where the system consists of elements installed in a building and elements to be installed in the field. Copyright Zöllner.

The system does neither require any modification to existing stations and signalling systems, nor does it require cabling or the installation of detection equipment in the field prior to operations. It can be deployed on any line equipped with ERTMS Level 2 worldwide. Several warning modes are possible depending on the type of intervention and the requirements of the maintenance sites: trafficked track, contiguous track. This system requires only one operator.

Benefits for rail infrastructure managers

The new system also offers significant benefits to railway infrastructure managers:

  • Improvement of the overall safety and working conditions of the agents
  • Reduction of the costs of future regeneration operations
  • Facilitation of maintenance work near the tracks (vegetation) and track inspection
  • Maintenance operations carried out without interrupting rail traffic and therefore less costly

In France, the ARGOS project, which aims to deploy new generation signaling stations, will make it possible to extend this warning solution to conventional lines. A POC (Proof of Concept), carried out with MESEA on the South Europe Atlantic high-speed line between Tours and Bordeaux, has demonstrated the feasibility of the concept.

Come and visit us at InnoTrans from 20 to 23 September at the SYSTRA stand, Hall 5-2, where our experts Gilles Augot and Jean-Pierre Ponchon will be presenting this new warning system.


[1] This work is governed by standard EN16704 - Safety protection on the track during work.

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