In 2010, Island Radar Company and Wavetronix, a global leader in ITS radars, collaboratively embarked on the development of a vehicle detection radar for railroad applications. At that time, Wavetronix had successfully deployed thousands of radar detection devices for highways and intersections over its ten-year history. Independent technology developer Tom Hilleary, the state of Illinois, BNSF Railway, and the FRA provided funding to develop and test a vehicle detection radar for four-quadrant gates crossing warning systems. The Wavetronix technology portfolio and the expansive detection footprint of its radar products were thought to be uniquely adaptable to the rigorous operational requirements of the railroad industry.
Installed at the Illinois Commerce Commission's Four-Quadrant Gate Test and Demonstration Site in Hinsdale Illinois, the system was tested for more than a year and a half, experiencing traffic volumes in excess of 500,000 vehicles. Based on the positive results from those tests relative to conventional presence detector loops buried in the crossing roadway, Island Radar Company finalized a complete, AREMA-compliant, non-embedded vehicle detection solution which is now available to the industry for detection of vehicles and trains in a variety of applications.
Currently the company has fielded early adopter applications involving BNSF, Norfolk Southern, and Amtrak that include:
- Vehicle detection in four-quadrant gate crossing warning systems, for exit gate control
- Blocked or obstructed crossing detection for high speed rail, communicating blocked crossing status to trains-on-approach over ITCS and PTC train control systems or directly to railroad personnel using image and streaming video enabled smartphones
- Train detection at diamond crossovers
- Train detection in classification yards for switch fouling detection
Located in Kansas City, the Island Radar Company may be contacted directly or through the Transportation Products Sales Corporation (TPSC) headquartered in St. Louis Missouri.
More information on TPSC may be found at www.tpscrail.com or at (866) 211-1754.
More information on Wavetronix may be found at www.wavetronix.com.