Pressure Sensors on Railway Tracks

Project by: Ritesh Pandey, 2nd year VIT  university, B.Tech - ECE Shivang Pradip Shah, 2nd year VIT university, B.Tech - ECE Aditya Kumar Jha, 2nd year VIT university, B.Tech - ECE

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Every year thousands of animals die after being hit by trains. Animals on train tracks are dangerous for both animals and the train as well. Animals are affected very badly. Besides animals, if the tracks are not cleared i.e. boulders on tracks, accidents tend to occur. This phenomenon becomes particularly dangerous in hilly areas. Trains cannot be stopped from moving on these tracks but something surely can be done. Using pressure sensors, a system can be built that provides alarm and helps avoid any unfortunate accidents.

Working understanding

placement of piezo sensors on railway tracks

This project devises a solution for these kind of problems. The project uses a set of 3 piezo electric wafer sensors along the tracks. Piezo wafers are preferable over pressure sensors as pressure sensors may provide false triggers, causing unnecessary alarm. Let’s look at the various scenarios to be covered.

Landslide: boulders on all the 3 pressure sensors

landslide on all 3 sensorsDuring this condition, all the sensors will give a high and there will be very less or no delay between them giving a high. The microcontroller senses this and sends the GPS co-ordinates of the sensor along with a message – “Landslide”, to the database on the local server (XAMPP in this case). This is done by passing the values to the PHP script placed on the server and by calling it in the code.

Landslide: boulders on either of the 2 sensors

In this case also, any 2 sensors will give a high (including the middle one) and the most important thing is that there will be very less or no delay between them. So, the Wi-Fi module will send the GPS co-ordinates as well as a message – “Landslide” to the database on the server. This is done by passing the values to the PHP script placed on the server and by calling the script in the code.

Presence of an animal on the tracks

animals on pressure sensors

In this case, 2 of the sensors will give a high but there will be a considerable delay between them and thus, the micro-controller will distinguish it from the landslide resulting in the Wi-Fi module sending the GPS co-ordinates of that place to the database on the XAMPP server along with a message – “Animal Present”. This is done by passing the values to the PHP script placed on the server and by calling the script in the code.

An animal passing over tracks

animals passing through tracks

In this case, all the 3 sensors will give a high but there will be considerable delay between the High given by the sensors. The micro-controller will sense this and the Wi-Fi module will send the GPS co-ordinates and a message – “Animal Passed” to the database on the XAMPP server. This is done by passing the values to the PHP script placed on the server and by calling the script in the code.

Circuit Diagram

A set of 3 piezo-electric sensors are connected to an Arduino. ESP8266 Wi-Fi module is also connected to the Arduino. ESP8266 is connected to Wi-Fi. XAMPP server on the laptop also connects to the same Wi-Fi. GPS module is also connected to the Arduino.

circuit of piezo wafers
Circuit of the piezo wafers
circuit diagram
Circuit diagram

Source code available at Github.

Finished project

This project can be implemented in a big scale and this can be used to save the lives of many animals and avoid accidents in hilly areas.


More interesting projects available here.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. This will require lots of sensors surrounding track and thus not cost effective ..it can be achieved effectively if the area covered by sensors can be increased..so please give the solution of above issue.

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