Autonomous lighting options for rail transport and railways

Maintenance of railways & passenger transport: first and foremost, safety

Cyalume continues to approach European railway companies so that it can offer them products with multiple applications. Cyalume are known for their leading products that support the safety policies of the entire rail industry.

Reducing the risks that might be present during emergency situations as well as when working on railways is at the focus of the safety concerns of rail transport companies.

For that reason, Cyalumes sticks as well as their other luminous adhesive patches have also been approved by rail professionals for using to secure night maintenance work that can take place on railway infrastructures but also to secure the transport of their passengers.

The safety of people is at the focus of the concerns of these companies, who want to strengthen workplace safety, especially when maintenance activities take place at night, and to strengthen response protocols in the event of a rail failure or accident.

Cyalume has been working closely with rail operators in France and England for many years in order to implement safety and response protocols in case of an emergency. These protocols can reduce the risk of slips, stumbles and falls for both track maintenance workers and passengers, whose safety must be guaranteed in the event of prolonged train stops or transhipment. Cyalume has developed specific products that can be used for personal identification, as well as for marking hazard areas, trackside equipment and both railway carriages and stations.

Thanks to all its innovative solutions, Cyalume Technologies is able to offer high quality products that meet all of the safety requirements of railway specialists. Discover the ways in which Cyalume light products can be used in the railway sector….

Lighting for train passengers in the event of an emergency or evacuation

Cyalume light sticks are easy to use in the event of a lighting failure, an incident which involves passenger evacuation

Light sticks are fitted inside the trains in order to ensure the safety of passengers

Cyalume has developed the LightStation, a different approach to evacuation that can improve existing S.E.E. boxes. The system is mainly used for equipping carriages on English trains.

The LightStation is one product with many applications, such as:

  • instantly illuminating the carriage/train as well as the way to the exits,
  • acting as an autonomous evacuation or emergency light for each passenger,
  • allowing evacuees waiting for rescue teams during transhipments to be seen more clearly and easily.

Easy to detect in the dark due to its photoluminescent label, the LightStation provides both staff and passengers with comfort and the guarantee of reliable lighting in the event of an emergency.

Made of fire and explosion resistant metal, the LightStation can be set up in all types of trains. Models 4, 10 and 20, are equipped with 25cm (10 inch) sticks. When the box is opened, all the sticks are activated (only one is activated in the 20 model), allowing light to shine in all directions (a 360° reach) in order to “see and be seen”.

These devices allow railway companies to reduce any risks that may be present during emergency situations.

Lighting on railway sites at night for infrastructure maintenance

Improving the productivity and the safety of workers is one of the main objectives of Network Rail and the organisation responsible for the safety of people working on the English railway infrastructure. Network Rail constantly asks its maintenance subcontractors to achieve these safety objectives.
Therefore, safety is at the focus of the subcontractors’ concerns and is encouraged by the ORR (Bureau of Railway Regulation) which is the Health and Safety authority for the British railways. Most of the infrastructure maintenance work is carried out at night in order to minimise traffic disruptions.

In this respect, Cyalume Technologies has worked closely with HSEA Network Rail specialists in the United Kingdom in order to choose and confirm a complete range of Cyalume lighting products that are made to be used along railway lines.

Using light sticks on rail equipment on the British network has received extremely positive feedback, such as a reduction in the number of accidents (electrocution, slips, stumbles and falls on construction sites etc.), improved working conditions and a rise in staff productivity.

In France, SNCF HSE specialists worked with Cyalume to standardise the use of chemiluminescent products on railway maintenance sites in order to improve the safety of teams operating at night. Trials organised with an internal SNCF working group have been successful. The trials immediately demonstrated the effectiveness of Cyalume products in the railway sector. They are easy to use, safe for both the health and the environment and contribute to improving the working conditions of maintenance teams.

Following these tests, protocols for the use of Cyalume lighting were adopted by the French rail infrastructure network’s night maintenance sites. The 12-hour, 15cm orange SnapLight stick and the 8-hour, green SOS are now used at SNCF maintenance sites.

The complete range of SnapLight light sticks and LightShape circular markers offered by Cyalume have several different uses:

  • Marking areas in maintenance: identifying the boundaries of catenary lines and site possession areas, identifying service points and marking the boundary between green and red areas.
  • Identifying equipment and hazards: light marking of drainage structures, gutters and pits, light marking of cables and ground connections and light marking of axle counters and ground signals.
  • Identifying people

Mark and tag in order to identify areas

Mark out any hazards in order to avoid the risk of injury to personnel during the intervention

Marking out passages during rail maintenance at night

Cyalume light sticks can be used to mark out maintenance sites

Alternative to railway lighting stations

Railway lighting stations provide supplementary lighting that is used during maintenance work on railways at night, Cyalume light sticks can be used as an alternative to these traditional railway lighting stations, which are usually powered by generators.

With Cyalume’s SnapLight products, the noise and smoke emanating from these generators is completely eliminated. Due to this, a significant amount of carbon dioxide emissions are also reduced. Reducing the use of generators also leads to significant savings due to the decreased use of diesel fuel.

Identify any pieces of equipment or any hazards in order to avoid the risk of falling or slipping

Identify a piece of equipment or a cavity by using Cyalume sticks along with a suitable color code in order to maintain a certain level of safety.

Identification of any pieces of equipment or any hazards in order to avoid slipping and falling in the dark

Access to maintenance sites

In order to safely illuminate the access path to maintenance sites and to avoid slips, stumbles and falls, the 15cm orange SnapLight sticks can be easily used to mark out any obstacles as well as to light up passages, even in dense greenery….

Light marking of drainage structures, gutters and pits

Light marking of cables and ground connections,

Light marking of axle counters and ground signals

Identify catenary poles using blue sticks in order to mark out the site at night

The 40cm blue Cyalume light sticks can be used to mark out the rail line connections (CLR)

Marking out areas in maintenance:

Identification of cables/Identification of catenary lines

The 15cm light sticks are guaranteed to provide a 12-hour light thereby making it easier to locate cables, which makes it safer for those who are working on site.
Before, the presence of these cables could only be indicated by the use of a spray paint that is not visible at night.

In order to identify catenary poles, the 8-hour, 40cm, blue light sticks can be used.
The site manager, in order to prevent electrical risk, must install CLRs (rail line connections) on the consigned installation to ensure electrical equipotentiality.
Up until now, each of these connections has been marked by a blue triangular flag in order to indicate the boundaries of the site that one should not go beyond. The 8-hour, 40cm, blue light sticks can help to identify these areas easier during the night. Once the work is done, the risk of forgetting a catenary pole will be reduced because the blue light stick will draw attention to the pole.
The implementation of this type of protocol has lead to significant savings as well as an improvement in safety for rail maintenance teams.

Identification of service points

Marking out the boundary between green and red areas

Reporting an emergency on a rail maintenance site at night

Report in case of an emergency and call for help

Reporting an emergency, on-site location assistance

The 8-hour, green S.O.S. warning devices are also used in combination with 200 mobile defibrillators at maintenance sites. They can be activated in case of an emergency at night in order to signal the need for immediate evacuation.

All these products are now used at infrastructure maintenance sites across France and have been beneficial in the following ways:

  • Accidents such as slips, stumbles and falls have decreased significantly. Cyalume sticks are lightweight, easy to both transport and use and have little to no impact on the environment (environmentally friendly, no battery required and noise-free)
  • The light lasts for 12 hours, which covers the duration of a night maintenance team’s intervention
  • They also provide a better solution that meets all of the safety and regulatory requirements for workers in the infrastructure network.

Individual identification of agents working at night in railway maintenance

Cyalume luminous markers allow teams and other people who are on site to be quickly identified

Individual identification on railway sites during the night

In France, Cyalume light markers are used for individual identification: the yellow, LightShape, self-adhesive light patch is used to identify HSE managers on site.

In the United Kingdom, the protocol implemented with Network Rail recommends the use of Lightshape circular markers in different colours:

  • white with a green cross to identify the rescuers,
  • purple to mark behavioural safety trainers,
  • yellow to identify engineering and machine supervisors and,
  • blue to identify crane controllers.

All Cyalume products are able to mark, light up and report better during night maintenance work and have contributed to a reduction in the number of accidents that occur at these rail infrastructure maintenance sites.