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Inland rail a trifecta for Toowoomba region: mayor
An Australian-designed safety device that warns rail workers about oncoming trains is being launched this week, after months of trials on Hunter Valley rail lines.
The 'Track Awareness Support System' or TASS is a portable safety beacon that links into the Australian Rail Track Corporation's 3G national train communications network.
It has been trialled in several locations including in the Hunter Valley, where two rail maintenance workers were killed by a coal train near Singleton while working on the tracks in 2007.
ARTC spokesman Michael van de Worp says the system can be easily deployed and will save lives.
"It's a device that tells the people out in the field, that are working on the track, that there's a train within 10 kilometres," he said.
"It flashes and makes a lot of noise, and they acknowledge that and hop off the track.
"We've got lots of good systems now, but paper-based systems, and this brings rail into the 21st century.
"It's a technology project that we've put together to give an extra layer of warning."
The launch of the TASS device has been timed to coincide with national rail safety week.
ARTC spokesman Michael van de Worp says it should help prevent accidents like the one that claimed the lives of the two maintenance workers near Singleton.
"It gives you that early warning, brings back to your conscious level that there are trains in the area and you've got to acknowledge the noise and the flashing light.
"You've got to take action, so it certainly makes you make conscious decisions about being on track.
"We did a video with some of the chaps that are working with it and they like the portability and it acted as an extra level of warning," he said.
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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