Safety

Track warning services

Warning staff working on railway worksites of the arrival of trains onto the works zone, whether using human or automatic means.
Train traffic is not prohibited on all of the worksites conducted within a railway environment. Indeed, a large number of worksites need to take account of the passage of railway traffic on the works zone and thus require all staff present to be warned of the arrival of these trains.The technique used in this case consists of emitting an audible signal at the approach of a train, informing the staff on the worksite that they must immediately leave the track circulated on and clear it of any traffic obstacles.

This process, known as a track warning, is put into action by one or more labourers, known an as announcers, who visually monitor the arrival of trains. The announcer, who exclusively assures this task, releases the sound signal using a high-power horn. The sound power emitted, in the region of 115dB, is sufficient for it to be perceived by all worksite labourers.When the worksite is extensive or when the track presents bends that hinder visibility, several announcers are put in place, making up a "track warning chain". This profession requires excellent vigilance and concentration ability.

Manpower: SFERIS counts just over 120 announcers/safety officers, able to intervene across the country, on all types of line.

Autoprowa® automated track warning systems

In addition to "traditional" human track warning, SFERIS proposes to conduct works under the coverage of track warnings performed by type-approved automatic track warning devices.
The announcer is replaced by a system to detect and automatically trigger train track warnings.
Any railway traffic approaching the worksite is detected when the train travels over a device known as the "warning pedal". This detection is instantly transmitted by wire connection to a central unit, which records it and triggers the sound signals (loudspeakers) and light signals (flashing lights) across the whole of the worksite.

The advantages of an automatic track warning system :

  1. optimum track warning quality, even in poor visibility conditions: smoke, mist or fog, night time, etc.,
  2. usage comfort of the night-time track warning system: the loudspeakers may be placed out of service, in which case only the flashing lights will operate, enabling much better insertion of nocturnal worksites in an urban zone,
  3. the workforce required to conduct track warning services can quickly become significant in number depending on the topographical configuration of the tracks and the extent of the worksite.
    Indeed, it can be necessary to form one track warning chain to announce the arrival of traffic onto the worksite zone, followed by a second chain in charge of repeating the track warning across the full expanse of the worksite.Using an automatic track warning system enables two operators (one central technician plus a coordinator) to assure track warning on a worksite able to cover a distance of up to 1,000 metres.

What are the restrictions of the automatic track warning system :

  1. The device installation study requires the worksite to be anticipated. This study must be conducted by qualified staff familiar with railway signalling facilities significantly upstream of the worksite,
  2. An automatic track warning device needs to be set up just prior to the worksite by a team dedicated to this operation (8 people),
  3. This device may not be used in zones comprising complex track plans (with numerous itineraries converging towards the worksite), as this is too complicated to put in place and implement.

What thus emerges is a field of economic relevance, within which the use of an automatic track warning device can be fully justified :

  1. Major worksites of the mechanical track renewal type, with traffic running on the adjacent track,
  2. Long-term fixed worksites (construction of works of art),
  3. Worksites in zones with complex topography (tunnels, bends and counter-bends),
  4. "Sliding" worksites of average length (under 1,000 metres) of the mechanical sleeper renewal type (continuing MRT).

Manpower: SFERIS has around 30 labourers trained and authorised in the installation, servicing and repair of these automatic warning devices. They are able to intervene across the country, on all line types.

Electrical-protection implementation services

The worksites conducted within the railway industry may take place in the immediate vicinity of electrified tracks and therefore catenaries. Worksites may only be authorised where the electrical power supply is cut on these catenaries.

Besides cutting of the power supply itself, the procedure requires the catenaries to be earthed, to reduce the risks associated with the induction created by neighbouring live catenaries or an accidental restoration of power. It is this earthing operation that our labourers specialising in electrical protection carry out. The worksite zone is thus protected against any risk of inadvertent repowering or accidental arrival of electric current.

Trained upon their arrival at the company, our labourers are able to perform electrical protection on simple worksites (one- or two-track platforms) but also on complex worksites (SFERIS assured the entirety of the electrical protection on the track and track-device renewal worksite at Gare du Nord station in Paris).

SFERIS has around 20 labourers authorised to perform electrical protection.

Safety services provided for the closed-line works base :

Closed-line works require the routing of substances and materials from work bases to the worksites.

SFERIS has labourers authorised to accompany work trains, as well as labourers authorised to secure level crossings of lines closed to commercial traffic.

SFERIS also has works base managers, overseeing acceptance of equipment and materials and the organisation of work-train rotations between the worksite premises and the works base.

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GOP Bordeaux autoprowa
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GOP Bordeaux autoprowa
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