AusRAIL, Products & Technology, Signalling & Communications

AusRAIL 2022: Smart solutions from Aldridge


Frequent AusRAIL exhibitor Aldridge was back this year, with director David Aldridge showing off the company’s range of smart signals for metro systems.

A particular focus was on the system the company developed for the North West section of the Sydney Metro rail line, which features driverless trains running from Chatswood to Cudgeong 40 kilometres away.

Aldridge is also involved with installing smart signals for the Sydney Metro South project that extends the existing North West Metro section.

“Although the Metro is fully automated, the system still requires railway signals for manual operations including shunting,” David said.

The smart running signals are based on a European design which includes a points position indicator in white (indicating left, right, or straight ahead), and a red horizontal bar for ‘stop’.

“This arrangement is specific to Sydney Metro. It is available as other variants for other operators, for example different colour LEDs can be used,” David said.

Aldridge’s low-cost wireless solar-powered level crossing (WLX) system is another new innovation, already in use at Bravus’ Carmichael mine in Queensland.

It reduces the installation costs for automated level crossings, as there is no need to trench and install cables from the wheel sensors, which may be placed a distance from the crossing.

“The WLX controller only needs low power supplied by solar panels and a 12V battery,” David said.

“WLX provides back-to-base monitoring and real-time reporting, and uses encrypted wireless technology for all communications.

“Wireless technology communicates information about approaching rail vehicles to wayside equipment which triggers a warning to road users.

“WLX is a completely new approach to the design and construction of automated railway crossings, making them particularly attractive to remote, rural locations.”

Aldridge also displayed a range of products from Japanese signal systems manufacturer Kyosan, which it teamed up with in a partnership earlier this year.

Apart from signalling products, Kyosan also developed the world’s first platform gap fillers, and pioneered partial height platform screen doors.