AusRAIL, Operations and Maintenance, Rail Conferences, Rail industry news (Australia, New Zealand), Signalling

AusRAIL PLUS: Successful year for Aldridge

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For Aldridge Railway Systems managing director David Aldridge, this year’s AusRAIL PLUS was one of the best he had exhibited at. 

“We had some absolutely fantastic days, in terms of a lot of people coming through and wanting to know more about our products,” he said. 

In particular, drawing great attention at AusRAIL was the new portable Worker Protection System from Aldridge, which automatically alerts track workers of approaching trains. 

The alarm comprises three 110dB sirens and three strobe lights mounted on portable lightweight tripods. The master warning controller and alarm is located centrally in a work zone and only takes a couple of minutes to install and commission.   

Train detection is achieved with a portable wheel flange sensor connected to a slave unit which utilises an encrypted radio transmitter that communicates with the controller/alarm unit. 

It is also possible to supplement this system with rechargeable Personal Alert Devices (PADs) which are worn on workers’ arms, that emit a loud audible warning and strong vibration to alert the worker of an approaching train even in the most unforgiving environments,” Aldridge said. 

There was also keen interest in Aldridge’s low-cost wireless solar-powered level crossing (WLX) system, already in use in Australia. 

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,” Aldridge 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.” 

The year has been good for the company, with Aldridge Railway Signals named Indigenous Exporter of the Year at Supply Nation’s Supplier Diversity Awards. 

Aldridge said the award was great recognition of his company’s growing export success. 

“We’ve had a cracker of a year. Last year export markets made up 43 per cent of our turnover and we’re still growing,” he said. 

“As well as success in Australia, we’ve been in Indonesia for 15 years but all of a sudden, the top’s blown off. We’re also doing projects in Malaysia and just completed the first stage of a project in Taiwan.”