Simply put – Repoint is a failsafe switch.
If its multiply redundant actuation fails and the switch stops in an intermediate position, then Repoint fails safe – the train will not be derailed.
Using safety concepts derived from aerospace and the nuclear industry, Repoint is a novel and innovative solution to an age old problem – derailment at failed switches still happens despite modern sensing, intensive inspection and maintenance regimes.
Repoint features a patented arrangement of interlocking rail ends and a lift and drop mechanism which provides a locking system with virtually no friction losses. It can also move the switch many times quicker than existing designs.
This lift and drop mechanism uniquely allows for several machines to act on the same points. In the event of one failure, the remaining machines can operate the points safely.
Combined with condition-based monitoring and line replaceable unit construction, the Repoint switches are fault tolerant and don’t require instant action in the event of a fault.
Developed at Loughborough University – supported by the UK Rail Safety and Standards Board – Repoint is soon to become a reality on rail networks around the world.