Dark Territory

Increase train performance and save life cycle costs with scalable axle counter technology that covers long track sections across dark territory

Class 1 railroads, as well as hundreds of regional and short lines currently operating across North America, often must run long distances through isolated settings not controlled by signals called dark territory. Because these remote locations create special challenges for railroads, dark territory operators have great latitude to choose the method of train detection they prefer in these areas.

Dark territory operators may cover wide ranges of track spanning 300 or 400 miles, so they require equipment that is easily installed, needs only very low maintenance and is highly reliable over many years. Frauscher’s product portfolio is built with these necessities in mind.

Our wheel sensors provide reliability that helps ensure maximum uptime. They are unaffected by extreme environmental conditions, resistant to electromagnetic interference, impervious to track return current and independent of ballast resistance, making them a dependable, low-maintenance option.


Train Detection

The primary purpose of axle counters is to provide safe, reliable train detection. Knowing the occupancy status of track sections in stations and block sections between stations will help ensure maximum efficiency. Axle counters offer efficient monitoring using advanced communications technology that ensures cost-effective options for train detection and enables various applications in dark territory.


  • Create “Islands of CTC”
  • Ensure train integrity
  • Safe, reliable train detection

Switching Point Protection

Keeping all trains moving as efficiently as possible is a key component of optimizing tracks running through single-line dark territory. If one train needs to pass another, it needs to be done safely and effectively. Switching point protection can be enhanced using axle counting technology. Through track vacancy detection, axle counters can accurately determine when and where a switch needs to occur with very little maintenance.


  • Safe, effective switching
  • Accurate identification of switching points
  • Efficient movement of trains

Passing Siding

Similar to switching points, passing sidings require coordinated technology to keep trains moving efficiently. Whether it’s two trains passing each other going in opposite directions, or one train by passing another going in the same direction, axle counters provide the accurate, reliable detection needed to ensure safety. Additionally, the low maintenance of our axle counters, even in the remoteness of dark territory, helps reduce costs.


  • Cost-effective
  • Reliable detection for improved safety
  • Efficient movement of trains throughout dark territory
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Dark Territory


Axle Counters - FAdC 

The Frauscher Advanced Counter FAdC features functional modularity, flexible scalability and an Ethernet-based interface that allows a wide range of configurations. The software interface enables the FAdC to be integrated effectively into higher-level systems offering greater flexibility in terms of design and communications. System integrators and rail operators will benefit equally from these significant advantages.

The Frauscher Safe Ethernet (FSE) protocol empowers the operator to independently integrate the solution. It is easy and has simple logic. It eliminates proprietary software that is prohibitive in implementation efforts and costs. Frauscher provides training and complete support.

Dark Territory