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Preventing Damage at Points

Preventing Damage at Points

during Engineering Works


Tags: Increased Safety Product Solutions Safety Signalling Unipart Dorman


Points are vulnerable to damage during engineering works from On Track Plant (OTP) or Road-Rail Vehicles (RRV) running through them when they aren’t set to allow the vehicle movement, a phenomenon known as Points Run Through (PRT).

PRT is seen where trailing sets of points which are not set in the correct position for that particular movement and also on facing sets, when the switch rail is not set correctly against the stock rail allowing the wheel to split the points. The damage occurs when either the rail wheels of a machine contact the point ends and distorts them, or when the machine derails between the switch rail and stock rail, bending the switches. Damage can also be done to the stretcher bars.

This type of damage is very expensive in terms of repair costs incurred rectifying the damage and the time taken to effect the repair. Additional costs due to reduced or cancelled services and disruption of related engineering project work by the PRT incident and the potential knock on effects of related engineering project work, soon accumulate into considerable sums and many wasted manhours.

To try to eliminate this problem, Network Rail’s M&EE Networking Group have recently introduced a Code of Practice (COP0036) which addresses the causes and delivers a set of responsibilities and operating arrangements which should prevent PRT events.

One of the measures is the use of the ‘Tildawn Lamp (TDL) Process’ which uses red warning lamps positioned in the ‘4 foot’ at approximately 10m before the points which mark a point OTP and RRV drivers need to stop at and obtain authority before crossing over the points.

The Unipart Dorman LED TrafiLITE is a TDL version of the traffic management lamps often seen at roadworks. The lamps comply with BS EN 12352 which superseded BS 3143 in 2006 and have sold in their millions worldwide since they were introduced in the early 1980s. The LED light source and computer modelled lens are designed to maximise the light output, while delivering the longest battery life which is in the region of 7200 hours (or nearly a year) of continuous use when Air Alkaline batteries are used in the flashing version.

Manufactured at Unipart Dorman’s facility in Southport, the lamp is available in both flashing or steady versions and customers can define various options including handle type and switching method. The lamps are also available in amber, green and blue lenses manufactured out of extremely damage resistant polycarbonate which coupled with the virtually unbreakable polyethylene body and robust LED light source mean the lamp will not let you down in even the harshest of environments.   

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About this author
Graham Scott

Technical Support Manager

I am the Technical Support Manager at Unipart Dorman providing technical and sales support across the Rail, Traffic and New Product Development areas of the business. In my spare time I write Flash Fiction and I also volunteer at a local community creative writing group and for various transport heritage groups.

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