Last year, Network Rail introduced more stringent Adjacent Line Open (ALO) working regulations, and committed to a funded programme of movement limiting device (MLD) upgrades to support the new working standards. Prolec is one of the suppliers for the upgrade programme. We’re providing our new rail system, which has been built on the PME platform.
Network Rail’s new standards were intended to eradicate conditions and manage the risks that have, in the past, contributed to fatal and life changing accidents for people working next to open lines. In addition, they aim to reduce the risk to trains from ALO working. While, clearly, the safety of line workers and rail passengers is of greatest importance, there is a further benefit to rail contractors.
The upgrade programme means that ALO working can be undertaken in more circumstances than previously allowed. If more working windows exist, then maintenance is completed sooner and contractors can take on more work. Everyone wins.
But it seems that all MLDs are not created equally. We’ve been told of competitor’s product that has a ‘dead zone’ – an area where a road-rail excavator should be able to work safely, but can’t because reaction time once a motion cut is requested has to be factored in. This is obviously going to affect productivity, as the slew restrictor has to kick in early, less work can be carried out within the envelope and the excavator has to be moved more often.
Our products – PMERail Max for ALO, and PMERail Ultra for ALO/OLE (Overhead Line Equipment) – don’t have this issue. Our slew restrictor slows in the approach zone and has a back drive, which means the motion cut kicks in exactly when it’s needed. The vehicle can work right to the edge of its safe zone and stops reliably every time. We know this because of the extensive testing we’ve carried out. And we’re confident in our product because we have a quarter of a century’s experience in supplying safety systems to the road-rail industry to draw on.
Network Rail says their safety vision is for their workforce, passengers and members of the public to return safely home at the end of every day. We agree, and are proud that Prolec’s rail safety equipment will be playing its part.
Find more information about Network Rail’s ALO regulations here: http://www.safety.networkrail.co.uk/On-site-Solutions/OTP-Safety/Adjacent-Line-Open-Working