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Rail News: Safety

Denver RTD runs train simulation software to test traffic signals on R Line


During RTD's computer-simulated testing, light boards represent traffic signal indicators at five grade crossings.
Photo: Regional Transportation District of Denver

Last month, the Regional Transportation District of Denver (RTD) began off-site "bench testing" of train and traffic signals for grade crossings along the FasTracks I-225 R Line.

The bench testing process uses computer software to simulate trains approaching intersections and crossings.

Using actual traffic signal controllers that will be installed along the light-rail line through Aurora, traffic engineers can analyze train and traffic signal equipment to determine how they'll function, RTD officials said in a press release.

For the bench tests, the controllers are connected to light boards that represent all of the traffic signal indications at an intersection.

"Testing train and traffic signal equipment allows us to make critical adjustments to operations and timing so that everything functions properly before being installed in the field," said RTD Traffic Engineer Brett Higgins.

The R Line has several grade crossings where traffic signal equipment will be interconnected with warning devices and signal equipment.

Once bench testing is completed, RTD will initiate systems integrated testing, which tests trains and traffic equipment at crossings and intersections before the line opens in late 2016.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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