One of the main problems being faced by the Indian Railways is the number of accidents taking place at the unmanned Level Crossings (LC Gates). These accidents have increased manifold in the recent years due to increased Road Traffic. The number of unmanned crossings is estimated at around 37,000 in the country. It is learnt that converting these unmanned level crossings to manned level crossings is a difficult task as they are scattered all over the countryside and in remote areas. Further it is too expensive to man these level crossings. There have been problems at the manned LC gates too, due to prolonged closure of the LC gate, when the irate Road Vehicle drivers have turned Violent and assaulted the Gateman. In one incident the Gateman was killed.
The Train Actuated Warning System (TAWS) for LC Gates comprises of the Stress sensors (MICROCELLS) mounted on the Rails. They are installed on the approach and retreat sections of the level crossing, on both the tracks, to ensure sensing in both the directions. The positioning on approach / retreat is approximately at a distance of 2-4 kms from the level crossing to cater Trains approaching at different speeds.
One microcell is mounted just near the crossing to switch OFF the indication as soon as the Train crosses the level crossing, thereby conserving power.
The Microcells are connected to the "Sensor Switching Unit" (SSU-RX) which in turn is connected to the "Monitoring And Alarm Unit" (MAU). The MAU controls the signaling system.