Guideway Intrusion Detection Systems for Mass Transit Systems - Bhavik Mistry
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A view from a station along Chicago's El.

Guideway Intrusion Detection Systems for Mass Transit Systems

As metropolitan transportation make their move towards fully automated transit systems, the issue of passenger safety and security become a greater concern for operational authorities. One of the hurdles in the path to achieving automation is the ability to ensure guideways are free from obstruction, both between stations and at the platform as the vehicles berth.

Guideway intrusion detection systems provide transit operators with a tool to detect intrusions into restricted and unsafe zones of the system. Detection can be achieved using a number of technologies and methods.

Optical Sensors

The Sensors’ primary function is to detect the range of an object at very high accuracy and speed. Typically a number of such sensors are deployed at various intervals and logically programmed to ensure the sensors are only tripped when a large object or person are within the unsafe zone.

Physical Sensors

Physical sensors that detect properties such as weight and pressure can also be employed. These types of sensors are typically located near to the platforms, within the track, and are activated if and when pressure from a person or object other than the train, is applied.

Intelligent Video

Intelligent video analytics via CCTV cameras can also be used to monitor and detect intrusions. This technology works by analyzing the video footage in near real-time, to ensure there are no moving objects other than the train within the restricted zone. As this technology is fairly new, there are only a handful of operators that have it installed.


For more information on the systems mentioned above, as well as other systems that exist:

A New Video Based Guideway Intrusion Detection System for Public Transportation Infrastructures

A short research paper presenting the applicability of video analytics for use in guideway intrusion.  


Intrusion Detection and Prevention Technologies Available for Rail Transit

A presentation from the APTA Rail Conference 2013.


State-of-the-Art Technologies for Intrusion and Obstacle Detection for Railroad Operations

A fairly in-depth paper exploring the various technologies available for intrusion detection.


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