Blocking relevant tracks for train traffic is the safest way to protect trackside work-sites. To maintain a lines capacity, this is not possible in most situations and Track Warning Systems (TWS) are employed. Efficiency and safety are the most important aspects at designing TWS. For current systems practicability, safety for workers and emitted noise of warning sounds are the biggest issues acoustic sound pressure levels in sleeping rooms in ascendant houses have been measured to be up to 90 dBA. Body-worn warning devices address all issues stated. Regarding technical innovations and possibilities, various studies developed several concepts of wearable components including acoustic, tactile and visual actuators in the last years. Results of these studies show positive approaches and outline shortcomings, but no concept has been approved for industrialisation yet. Consortium TrackWear combines the following competence and expertise from different fields in order to solve current problems as well as to generate new findings and knowledge:
- Expertise in railway operations, technologies and strategies
- User centred design in prototyping and development processes
- Technical development of safety relevant devices in the railway sector
TrackWear addresses most current problems in the field of TWS, collects and structures knowledge of literature, expert inputs as well as users experience and creates new approaches of wearables that integrate both actuators and sensors. Multiple alternatives are evaluated, and the most promising concept is technically implemented as demonstrator. This demonstrator is evaluated regarding its functionality, usability by trackside workers and its operational integrity.
The scientific findings are the results of both theoretic and empirical work and can be summarized as thus:
- Comprehensive knowledge compilation of the topic individual warning
- Technical concept for a platform including both sensors and actuators
- Demonstrator with sensors and actuators is developed
- Usability and functionality are validated
- Operational integrity and legal feasibility are evaluated.
TrackWear will provide a solid, well-documented basis for further steps regarding development and implementation of technologies for individual, body-worn warning devices. Possible future use cases are not constrained to track-sid