Boys Town Student Invents Solution to Prevent Collisions at Railroad Crossings

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train collision preventionRecent tragic railroad crossing accidents underscore the danger inherent at railroad crossings throughout the globe. A Boys Town Jerusalem student has devised an innovative solution to keep roads and lives safe when cars and trains intersect.

Moshe Ukashi, 20, devoted his recent senior project at Boys Town Jerusalem’s College of Applied Engineering to creating a prototype utilizing a revolving railway crossing platform to automatically prevent deadly collisions between cars and trains.

The system is based around a circular moveable platform at the nexus of a railroad crossing. Two synchronized microcontrollers, one inside the train and one situated under the street that intersects with the train track, mastermind the system. A weight sensor placed upon this street section is programmed to transmit a signal when a heavy stationary weight (indicating a vehicle) is present at the time a train is approaching. Within five seconds, the train is alerted to slow its speed. Simultaneously, a motor below the moveable platform at the crossing is instantly activated to revolve at 90 degrees, virtually moving the section where the car is trapped. A new section of track snaps into place, clearing the way for the train to whiz by in absolute safety, as the automobile passengers are well out of harm’s way.

“I enjoyed the complex challenge of creating this project,” the Boys Town Jerusalem student noted. “Most crucial, of course, is its potential to save lives.”

Moshe, who frequently commutes by train, is from the city of Rechovoth. He was tapped by the Israel Defense Forces for special studies at Boys Town’s College of Applied Engineering to train electronics specialists for the Israeli Air Force.

Moshe is presently considering becoming an officer in the career army following his initial five-year service in the IDF.

{Matzav.com Israel News Bureau}

6 COMMENTS

  1. Boys Town was founded by Rabbi Alexander Linchner z”l who was inspired to do so by his father-in-law, R’ Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz z”l.

  2. presumably a car wouldn’t be able to drive in the center b/c of the track. also if one car was removed and then another became stuck, what would happen?

  3. This does not appear to me a feasible solution.

    A vehicle may find itself on the track because they attempted crossing at the latest second and the bars closed; the solution is already implemented, there is enough space for the vehicle to move off the tracks and wait for the train to pass and for the bars to reopen.
    A vehicle may suffer a mechanical failure exactly on the tracks and not be removed quickly enough; there is a driver though, who generally can push the car away from the tracks, especially if there are passengers and/or passers-by. However, if this were a problem in some areas (I doubt it) a tow-hook might be helpful in the highly occasional case a vehicle driven by a disabled citizen is blocked and there is no one to offer assistance. Another no-cost and effective measure is posting signs with an emergency number, which in turn could contact the train drivers in real time.

    Now, let us consider the potential drawbacks of the proposal. What if the microcontroller is stuck with the track section off alignment?

  4. This does not appear to me a feasible solution.

    A vehicle may find itself on the track because they attempted crossing at the latest second and the bars closed; the solution is already implemented, there is enough space for the vehicle to move off the tracks and wait for the train to pass and for the bars to reopen.
    A vehicle may suffer a mechanical failure exactly on the tracks and not be removed quickly enough; there is a driver though, who generally can push the car away from the tracks, especially if there are passengers and/or passers-by. However, if this were a problem in some areas (I doubt it) a tow-hook might be helpful in the highly occasional case a vehicle driven by a disabled citizen is blocked and there is no one to offer assistance. Another no-cost and effective measure is posting signs with an emergency number, which in turn could contact the train drivers in real time.

    Now, let us consider the potential drawbacks of the proposal. What if the microcontroller is stuck with the track section off alignment?

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