Ghost Train Generator

Technology Summary

Heavy or long wheel-based vehicles can become stuck or “high-centered” on railroad grade crossings, sometimes leading to highly destructive train accidents. An emergency device that “talks” directly to the railroad traffic signaling infrastructure could send instant red stop signals to trains within several miles of a blocked crossing.

The Invention

Fermilab has developed a simple, inexpensive, effective device to reduce collision incidents related to vehicles stuck on railroad grade crossings. This device will simulate the continuity of locomotives or other rolling stock from rail to rail therefore closing the existing DC track circuit, mimicking the presence of a train at the location of deployment. The intention of the deployment of this device is to force adjoining railroad block signals into red condition indicating a grade crossing is occupied in the event of a vehicle becoming stranded. Emergency use only device. Self-contained portable capsule containing a very low resistance electrical load to be deployed across railroad rails utilizing two strong magnets affixed to each end of a mechanically robust load.

Benefit

  • Cheap, compact, and efficient method of initiating red signal condition
  • Can instantly warn a train’s crew of trouble at a crossing

Applications and Industries

  • First Responder vehicles (police, fire, emergency medical personnel, etc.)
  • Professional drivers (semi-trucks)
  • Railroad Industry

 

Category: Engineering Technologies, Environmental & Safety

Tags and Keywords: Transportation, Traffic Control

 

This figure illustrates how one Strong Neodymium (N42) magnets is used to assure adequate pressure and therefore conductive contact between the low resistance load on the rails

This figure illustrates how one Strong Neodymium (N42) magnets is used to assure adequate pressure and therefore conductive contact between the low resistance load on the rails

Invention Details

Patent Status: Patent pending

Contact:
Aaron G Sauers, CLP
630-840-4432
asauers@fnal.gov
Fermilab, MS 312 – PO Box 500
Batavia, IL 60510