Processing

Please wait...

Settings

Settings

Goto Application

1. WO2020112165 - METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR VEHICLE-BASED SWITCH LOCKING IN A RAIL NETWORK

Note: Text based on automatic Optical Character Recognition processes. Please use the PDF version for legal matters

[ EN ]

WHAT IS CLAIMED IS

1 .) A switch locking method of an authorized locomotive for safely traversing a switch in a railway, the method comprising:

sending a lock command from a computer onboard the authorized locomotive to a switch controller associated with the switch;

determining if a lock confirmation from the switch controller is received by the computer onboard the authorized locomotive; and

safely traversing the switch upon receipt of the lock confirmation.

2.) The method of claim 1 , comprising:

preventing the authorized locomotive from traversing the switch if the lock confirmation from the switch controller is not received by the computer onboard the authorized locomotive.

3.) The method of claim 1 , further comprising:

preventing an external command from a switch dispatcher to influence a position of the switch until the authorized locomotive has unlocked the switch.

4.) The method of claim 1 , further comprising:

determining an acceptable switch alignment for the authorized locomotive to traverse a segment of the railway associated with a switch leg;

issuing a switch command by the computer onboard the authorized locomotive, the switch command issued to the switch controller to align the switch to the acceptable switch alignment; and

controlling the switch by the switch controller to align the switch in accordance with the switch command.

5.) The method of claim 1 , further comprising:

transmitting the lock confirmation to the computer onboard the authorized locomotive or a dispatch computer, the lock confirmation including a switch status indicating the switch is locked.

6.) The method of claim 1 , further comprising:

issuing an unlock command to the switch; and

controlling the switch by the switch controller to release the switch from a locked status

7.) The method of claim 1 , wherein sending the lock command further comprises:

determining an address of the switch controller of the switch; and transmitting the lock command to the switch via the switch controller based on the address of the switch controller of the switch.

8.) The method of claim 1 , comprising:

in response to receiving a request by at least one of a second locomotive or a central dispatcher to control the switch,

generating a switch status indicating that the switch is locked to indicate a train is traversing a segment of the railway including the at least one portion of the switch; and

transmitting the switch status to at least one of the second locomotive or the central dispatcher.

9.) The method of claim 1 , comprising:

determining by the computer onboard the authorized locomotive, an approach by the authorized locomotive to a geographic location associated with the switch.

10.) A method of locking a switch by a self-dispatching locomotive, the method comprising:

authorizing the self-dispatching locomotive from a central dispatcher to traverse a segment of a railway including at least one switch located on the railway;

issuing a lock command by the self-dispatching locomotive, the lock command issued to a switch controller associated with the at least one switch to lock the at least one switch; and

activating the switch by the switch controller to lock out one or more switch control requests.

11.) The method of claim 10, comprising:

determining a lock confirmation from the switch controller is received by the self-dispatching locomotive; and

preventing the self-dispatching locomotive from traversing the switch if the lock confirmation from the switch controller is not received by the self-dispatching locomotive.

12.) The method of claim 10, comprising:

preventing externa! commands from the central dispatcher to influence a position of the switch until the self-dispatching locomotive has unlocked the switch.

13.) The method of claim 10, further comprising:

determining an acceptable switch alignment of the switch, the acceptable switch alignment for the self-dispatching locomotive to traverse the segment of the railway associated with a switch leg;

issuing a switch command by the self-dispatching locomotive to align the switch to the acceptable switch alignment; and

controlling the switch by the switch controller to align the switch in accordance with the switch command.

14.) The method of claim 10, further comprising:

transmitting a lock confirmation by the switch controller including a switch status indicating the switch is locked.

15.) The method of claim 10, further comprising:

determining a clearance of the switch; and

in response to determining the clearance of the switch,

issuing an unlock command to the at least one switch to release the lock of the at least one switch.

16.) The method of claim 10, wherein issuing the lock command by the self-dispatching locomotive, further comprises:

determining an address for a switch controller of the at least one switch; and

transmiting the lock command to the at least one switch based on the address for the at least one switch.

17.) The method of claim 10, further comprising, in response to receiving a request by at least one of a second locomotive or the central dispatcher to control the switch before the lock command is issued by the self-dispatching locomotive:

generating a switch status indicating that the switch is locked by a train in the segment of the railway including the at least one portion of the switch; and

transmiting the switch status to the self-dispatching locomotive or the central dispatcher.

18.) A system for controlling movement of a train in a track network, the system comprising:

a switch, associated with a segment of a railway, and a switch controller, the switch controller coupled to the switch; and

an authorized locomotive including an on-board computer comprising one or more processors, the authorized locomotive having authority to traverse one or more switches, the on-board computer system configured to:

send a lock command from a computer onboard the authorized locomotive to a switch controller associated with the switch;

determine if a lock confirmation from the switch controller is received by the computer onboard the authorized locomotive; and

safely traverse the switch upon receipt of the lock confirmation.

19.) The system of claim 18, wherein the on-board computer system is further configured to:

determine an acceptable switch alignment of at least one switch of the one or more switches to traverse a segment of the railway associated with a switch leg; and

issue a switch command to align the switch to the acceptable switch alignment.

20.) The system of claim 19, wherein an authorized locomotive is further configured to send an unlock command to a switch controller associated with a locked switch, the unlock command configured to release a lock of the at least one switch.