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New device signals a more reliable network


NEWS UPDATE 07.04.2021

New device signals a more reliable network

A new lightning protection device on level crossings aims to reduce lightning-related failures by 95 per cent.

New device signals a more reliable network teaser

Signal failures caused by lightning strikes are set to be a thing of the past, thanks to the roll-out of a new lightning protection device across the Arc network.

The device – called a ‘TC-RT Ring Ten Transient Clamp’ – works by creating a bypass around signalling equipment when a lightning strike occurs, and has now been rolled out across 85 per cent of the network, leading to a significant decrease in lightning-related signal failure.

The installation of the device on level crossings has resulted in less disruption to trains and customers, less interruption to planned maintenance and a reduction in employee time spent attending to and repairing signal failures.

The device protects the ‘Westrak circuit’, which is used to detect the presence of trains on the network, and control signalling and level crossing equipment, typically in remote areas where there are level crossings and self-restoring points. Protection of these circuits from lightning prevents unnecessary failures and ensures trains can run more reliably in stormy weather. 

Regional Signalling Specialist Andrew Thompson praised the Mid West team who initiated the project and have helped significantly improve the reliability of the network.

“The idea was initiated in Narngulu by the Signal Maintenance team to help prevent unnecessary failures and associated disruption to trains and customers. This was recognised by the continuous improvement team and after proof of concept, was rolled out across the network.

“Due to the success of the lightning protection on level crossings, we are now aiming to protect all track circuits and reduce lightning related failures by 95 per cent.

“So far this year we have seen many summer lightning storms come through our network and to date, we have only had one lightning-related signal failure, on a level crossing that does not yet have the protective device installed,” Mr Thompson said.

Arc commenced installing the lightning protection devices in 2017 and has so far installed 621 of them. The roll-out is scheduled to be completed across the network by the end of April this year.

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