Can I safely cross the railway before the boom barriers close? Especially for elderly and disabled people, this can be a real question. According to the railway administrator, insecure and less mobile elderly people may get into trouble at a crossing. They can panic when hearing the ringing bells and thereby fall or freeze.
We designed a column that indicates whether it is possible to cross over quietly or that the railway bells are almost going off. If you see a green figure on the screen, you can cross in peace. If the screen shows a white train, the boom barriers will close shortly, and pedestrians can decide to wait with crossing.
The crossing aid is a success: TNO research shows that a significant proportion of pedestrians feels safer when they cross and many municipalities inform whether the product can also be placed on their crossings. There are even pedestrians who indicate that they no longer dared to cross the track independently, but now they do again.
The Crossing aid in summary
A column that indicates whether it is possible to cross over quietly or that the railway bells will almost go off. If you see a green figure on the screen, you can cross over in peace. If the screen shows a white train, the boom barriers will close shortly, and pedestrians can decide to wait with crossing.
A friendly, iconic shape
TNO research and experiences at ProRail led to the demand for a product that helps pedestrians with fear of crossing a railroad crossing. Through brainstorming sessions that we organized internally at ProRail, the available knowledge and experiences were brought to the surface and new ideas were tested. The design process was a textboook case: Because we were involved from the very beginning, we were able to provide guidance with fresh and realistic concepts.
The iconic shape of the display immediately makes the function clear due to its reference to a traffic light. The display is large and is therefore easily visible for both people walking upright and people in a wheelchair or behind a walker or baby buggy. The brightness of the screen adapts to the environment and the light.
- Organization brainstorming sessions
- Identify requirements and wishes
- Concept development
Ms. B. Struve, ProRail
"A tremendous commitment"
“Wortel Design has helped us professionally and enthusiastically to come from an idea to a working prototype. The prototype developed by Wortel has contributed to a successful test. Wortel has shown enormous commitment during the collaboration. We are very satisfied.”
Low maintenance thanks to the stainless steel design
The initial design was further elaborated in the product engineering phase. The column has been designed by our engineers in such a way that it can not give wrong information, it is vandalism-proof and it is resistant to the weather conditions it suffers. Furthermore, we have thought carefully about smart fixing solutions, good airflow and cooling, the right electronics and a solid elaboration. A rounded and durable finish makes the crossing aid low-maintenance and also ensures a modern and sleek appearance.
- Material selection
- Housing elaborated
- Airflow elaboration
- Functionality electronics
Frank Westland, Industrial engineer
Interesting project with great challenges
“The development of the crossing aid was a great project in which there was intensive cooperation with both ProRail and TNO in order to achieve a successful product. We have been involved from the very first idea and have therefore been able to make the right design choices. In the end there is an innovative product to be proud of: Thanks to the crossing aid, it is now much less stressful for many people to cross the railway. Both users and municipalities have responded with great enthusiasm.”
Prototyping and Production support
Smart design solutions have been applied, resulting in affordable prototyping. Two prototypes of the crossing aid have been developed for extensive testing by TNO. We ensure great cost savings for our clients by ensuring that our 3D CAD models can be used by our production partners.
The tests by TNO prove successful: TNO research shows that a significant proportion of pedestrians have a safer feeling when crossing and many municipalities inform whether the product can also be placed on their crossings. There are even pedestrians who indicate that they no longer dared to cross the track independently, but now they do again.
- Prototype developed
- Test conducted at railroad in Haarlem
- Test by TNO