Anyone heard of "Island Protection Only" grade xings?

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Anyone heard of "Island Protection Only" grade xings?

Postby carajul » Wed Jul 29, 2009 3:32 pm

Has anyone here ever heard of "island protection only" with regard to grade xings? As I kinda undertand it, this is a situation where the grade xing flashers are not activated until the train is literally at the road xing itself. Just the trackage in the road (the island) triggers the flashers. This would be useful on trackage that is like 5mph when a train stops before entering the roadway where the 20 second advance flasher warning isn't needed as on higher speed lines.
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Re: Anyone heard of "Island Protection Only" grade xings?

Postby nick11a » Wed Jul 29, 2009 5:00 pm

carajul wrote:Has anyone here ever heard of "island protection only" with regard to grade xings? As I kinda undertand it, this is a situation where the grade xing flashers are not activated until the train is literally at the road xing itself. Just the trackage in the road (the island) triggers the flashers. This would be useful on trackage that is like 5mph when a train stops before entering the roadway where the 20 second advance flasher warning isn't needed as on higher speed lines.


I believe you are correct. Island circuits do this. Advance circuits activate the crossing in advance. The advanced circuitry is timed to the fastest a train can be moving on the tracks. The down side is if a train is heading at a slower speed, the crossing is activated regardless of the speed. Advanced circuits can be keyed up at certain crossings.

The best solution is the newer sensor crossings. No keying up required and they activate at a certain calculated time before the train reaches the crossing.
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Re: Anyone heard of "Island Protection Only" grade xings?

Postby davebdawg » Wed Jul 29, 2009 7:32 pm

Hey, This reminds me of the grade crossing In Clark @ Rahway ave. Just the center islands were installed a few years ago, and when the traffic backs up on the crossing for traffic turning left onto Lamberts Mill road cars get stuck on the crossing with no means of escape and they get crunched!!!
Been there done that happened a few months ago, by a garbage train no less!!! :(
MP. 23 On The Lehigh Line!!
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Re: Anyone heard of "Island Protection Only" grade xings?

Postby Ken W2KB » Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:28 am

carajul wrote:Has anyone here ever heard of "island protection only" with regard to grade xings? As I kinda undertand it, this is a situation where the grade xing flashers are not activated until the train is literally at the road xing itself. Just the trackage in the road (the island) triggers the flashers. This would be useful on trackage that is like 5mph when a train stops before entering the roadway where the 20 second advance flasher warning isn't needed as on higher speed lines.


Not usually the track in the road, but the island extends generally 20 or so feet either side of the road, so the train can creep up onto the island, stop and thus activate the signals without fouling the road itself, and then after the requisite 20 seconds of signal activation, commence sounding the horn and proceed across the road.
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Re: Anyone heard of "Island Protection Only" grade xings?

Postby firthorfifth06 » Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:31 am

The grade crossings in Flemington for the BRWRR are like that aren't they?
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Re: Anyone heard of "Island Protection Only" grade xings?

Postby Ken W2KB » Mon Aug 03, 2009 9:17 am

firthorfifth06 wrote:The grade crossings in Flemington for the BRWRR are like that aren't they?


Sort of. Route 12 has approach circuits. When doing the runaround at Flemington, the engine will stop for the 20 seconds on the island going south before fouling Route 12 and then go north to couple to the cars at the passenger platform.
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Re: Anyone heard of "Island Protection Only" grade xings?

Postby PRSL1972 » Thu Aug 20, 2009 10:41 pm

you are correct about the island circut. island circuts are normally about 150 to 200 feet. there are some that might be shorter. on hight speed rail you would have an aproach circut island circut and another aproach circut. intertwined in this x-ing is a stick circut that sets the direction of the train. for example a north bound train hits the south advance app. cir. north stick picks up, train hits the island south stick picks train leaves island north stick drops leaves north app and south stick drops. this is to insure that flashers and gates stay activated untill train leaves circut. it may seem much but is a simple circut to ensure safty for grade x-ing.
For what I have been seeing the direction of NJT is going which isn't great it should be disbanded and revert back to public service and rail to DOT. This will ensure all high paid brain dead people are weeded out!!!
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Re: Anyone heard of "Island Protection Only" grade xings?

Postby erie910 » Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:36 pm

It was not unusual to have island-only grade crossing protection circuits on sidings. The railroad on which I volunteered had a few of those. It saved the expense of approach circuits, and crews were instructed to be sure to allow at least the required 25 seconds of warning before occupying the crossing.

We also had several two-circuit crossings. They each were approach circuits, but they ended about halfway through the crossing. That provided the required advance warning, but the protective devices turned off (flashers only, no gates) before the train was completely through the crossing. The FRA required these to be replaced with full, 3-circuit protection as a part of an upgrade program.
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