Vibration in railway tracks can be a source of electricity

As a rule, at regulated level crossings, special wired sensors are used to detect an approaching train. When they detect a train, they trigger an electrical system that activates warning lights and lowers the barrier. Researchers at the British University of Huddersfield have decided to improve the system by supplementing it with tiny wireless sensors powered by rail vibration.

Multiple sensors combined into one network will "collect" energy from the vibration of the rail and transmit the signal further along the chain. If one of the sensors fails, the network will redirect the signal bypassing it. In addition, wireless sensors can be used to monitor the condition of the railway tracks themselves.

According to university experts, the cost of a network of sensors for one move will be $ 26, 000. By comparison, it costs $ 650, 000 to set up a crossing with a conventional train detection system.