Frauscher Track Vacancy System FTVS

The FTVS was designed as a direct result of feedback received from our Class 1 customers. The Wheel Sensor RSR110 and Wheel Signal Converter WSC are utilized by every Class 1 railroad for trackside triggering applications such as AEI, HBD and vision systems, as well as other non-vital solutions. These railroads have become accustomed to the reliable performance of Frauscher’s robust wheel sensors, and expressed an interest in an axle counting system utilizing the RSR110. This request was initially based on the need for reliable train detection that could stand up to the harsh conditions common to rail yards, but similar needs exist in locations such as ports and industrial facilities where a variety of conditions can make the use of traditional train detection systems difficult or impossible.

Through frequent discussions and continued requests for feedback from our customers, Frauscher developed the FTVS system. FTVS is appropriate for non-vital train detection, making the technology ideal for yard applications such as switch point protection. Other features they requested included ease of installation and maintenance, seamless integration into yard infrastructure, and reduced space requirements.

significant advantages

Benefits of the Frauscher Track Vacancy System FTVS

  • Smaller footprint trackside for installation in tight places such as switches

  • DIN rail mount in wayside enclosures requires minimal space

  • Reliability in all conditions, including snow, flooding, extreme temperatures and where track and ballast are deteriorated

  • Can determine exact fouling points (which is the exact location of the wheel sensor)

  • Quick and easy installation – no drilling or bonds

  • FTVS is compatible with other common track vacancy equipment; can be used as a standalone system, overlay or “spot fix” for problem areas

  • Minimal maintenance requirement – just once in two years

  • Increases safety by reducing track time for installation and maintenance personnel

  • Can be used to protect switches in areas where track circuit installation is difficult or impossible

  • Diagnostics available via wayside equipment

Typical FTVS System Design

Trackside Components

The Frauscher Wheel Sensor RSR110

The RSR110 is an inductive wheel sensor with capabilities that include train detection, direction, wheel center and other diagnostics. It is mounted onto the Frauscher rail claw and attached to the rail in minutes, without drilling or bonds. Ease of use is furthered with its pluggable cable feature. Two RSR110s are shown mounted to the rail in the diagram below. The wheel sensor’s four wire cable terminates in a junction box, and a star quad twisted pair cable connects the wheel sensors to the FTVS equipment located in a wayside enclosure. This is where the system gets its power supply, and where diagnostics can be received.

Wayside Components

The Wheel Signal Converter WSC

By design, there is one Wheel Signal Converter per wheel sensor. Each WSC converts the analog output received from the associated RSR110 to digital I/O, also providing optocoupler outputs. The configuration of the WSC allows for remote calibration via DIP-switch or serial interface. Finally, the WSC supports a serial interface ASD for local diagnostics.

The Wheel Counting Board WCB 

The Wheel Counting Board WCB provides track clear/occupied output via discrete dry contact output. A track section is formed using from one to four wheel sensors, using check-in, check-out logic. The WCB has a two-digit display that can simultaneously highlight the axle count in a track section, as well as any applicable error code. An additional feature that supports the WCB's ease of use is a front panel reset button.

FTVS – Summary of Features

The Frauscher Track Vacancy System was designed based on feedback from existing RSR110 users. The need for a non-vital axle counting system to meet the unique requirements of locations with less than ideal conditions was at the core of the FTVS development.

The FTVS supports many features that allow ease of use in providing track vacancy information. These features include easy installation, the convenience of a space saving DIN rail mount, DIP switch configuration and front panel reset. The FTVS operates in a wide range of temperatures, from -40°F to +185°F, and at an operating voltage of +10V to +36V DC to accommodate any situation. Finally, the FTVS provides discrete dry contact outputs, an interface for remote diagnostics, and compatibility with any existing system such as track circuits.

The FTVS clearly meets the needs that were originally presented by our customers, and is a mature product that has been well tested in the field with positive results. Feedback from FTVS users highlights reliability in difficult conditions, easy installation, minimal maintenance, and a small footprint for both trackside and wayside equipment as the key benefits recognized in daily operations.