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Preventing coal train derailments

Supplier: Vision Systems Engineering By: Bob Purvis
27 May, 2011

VSE camera installation over a decade ago at Leigh Creek Mine in South Australia continues to ensure no coal train derailments have occurred

The purpose - to eliminate derailments due to premature coal release in transit.

The method - measure the critical distance between two reference positions on each coal truck on a three kilometre train as they pass by the cameras at up to 25 Kph. An alarm signal was output if these measurements were greater than 10 mm .... If greater than 15 mm, potential increased for the premature opening of the coal release mechanisms and consequent derailment while in transit to Port Augusta.

In the 13 years our installation at Leigh Creek Mine in South Australia apart from maintaining cleanliness, these cameras have required only two services - one for a physical contact and the other for a subtle vision program improvement - and in the last ten years no derailments have occured.

We at VSE are proud of this applications' operation and although we are now using far more sophisticated systems we are also confident that our more recent applications will also stand the test of time.

This application won the US Advanced Imaging Magazine's Application of the year award.