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Monday, 24 June 2013

Automatic Railway Gate Control & Track Switching

This project utilizes two powerful IR transmitters and two receivers; one pair of transmitter and receiver is fixed at up side (from where the train comes) at a level higher than a human being in exact alignment and similarly the other pair is fixed at down side of the train direction. Sensor activation time is so adjusted by calculating the time taken at a certain speed to cross at least one compartment of standard minimum size of the Indian railway. We have considered 5 seconds for this project. Sensors are fixed at 1km on both sides of the gate. We call the sensor along the train direction as ‘foreside sensor’ and the other as ‘aft side sensor’. When foreside receiver gets activated, the gate motor is turned on in one direction and the gate is closed and stays closed until the train crosses the gate and reaches aft side sensors. When aft side receiver gets activated motor turns in opposite direction and gate opens and motor stops. Buzzer will immediately sound at the fore side receiver activation and gate will close after 5 seconds, so giving time to drivers to clear gate area in order to avoid trapping between the gates and stop sound after the train has crossed.

The same principle is applied for track switching. Considering a situation wherein an express train and a local train are traveling in opposite directions on the same track; the express train is allowed to travel on the same track and the local train has to switch on to the other track. Two sensors are placed at the either sides of the junction where the track switches. If there’s a train approaching from the other side, then another sensor placed along that direction gets activated and will send an interrupt to the controller. The interrupt service routine switches the track. Indicator lights have been provided to avoid collisions. Here the switching operation is performed using a stepper motor. Assuming that within a certain delay, the train has passed the track is switched back to its original position, allowing the first train to pass without any interruption. This concept of track switching can be applied at 1km distance from the stations.



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