Axle count system

An axle count system is a wide spread detection system in railway technology. They detect both the front and end of the train by counting and registering the axles of trains. An axle count system is composed at a minimum by two trackside axle detection units and an electronic control system. Thereby the trackside units provide the control system with input data.

At first a trackside detection unit at the beginning of a track section counts the passing wheels of a train. Thereafter another axle detection unit at the end of the same track section registers the same number of wheels passing by this train. The electronic control system processes the information of both trackside units. With the given information it can deduce, if the train occupies the track section or not. In some situation the technology fails, for example when one, of the twelve axles, is not registered entering the section. When this is the case there are special safety rules, which allow the track section to go to the status of not assigned or free. In some situations, the signal box operator or dispatcher can reset the axle count system to its basic position.

End-of-train detectors

End-of-train detectors belong to necessary basic technology of train protection. This installation recognizes the beginning and the end of trains crossing. Therefore, this is a system of point by point detection of trains. On the one hand these detectors enable that several trains can run safely on the same track. Furthermore, these detectors fulfil other important functions which we will explain in this chapter as well.

End-of-train detectors are the limit of a track section. If a train passes this detector by its head, then the following track section becomes “occupied”. When the following track section is likewise the beginning of the next block, then the signal gets the signal aspect “halt”. If the end of train finally passes the detector, then the last track section gets the status “not assigned”.