High wind gusts cause dangerous movement of exposed overhead wires, leading to loss of power to the train and de-wirements. In some areas wind gusts can also blow over empty freight cars.
A typical wind management strategy is based around freely available text and/or general wide area hazard (Yes/No) type forecasts. The effects of wind may be highly localized and influenced by local terrain / topography and vary with wind direction, making wind gusts difficult to forecast. This often leads to train speed restrictions being introduced too frequently, so leading to unnecessary delays. Alternatively, it is possible for localized wind events to occur, which have not been forecast, leading to expensive and disruptive de-wirements.
The Vaisala IceCast Wind Alarm System warns users when wind gusts exceed user defined thresholds, so allowing wind related train speed restrictions to be imposed only when and where required, reducing delays and costs, while also minimizing infrastructure damage under high wind conditions.
Each wind weather station continuously records wind speed, direction and gust and 'controls' a particular line section. The wind weather station is located where wind gusts have been identified as likely to be greatest. The system provides an effective wind alarm solution, with the track-side data logger alarm logic structured to avoid the repeated alarms which occur under varying wind conditions.
The Vaisala IceCast Wind Alarm System is based around a network of strategically located wind weather stations equipped with a WAA151 anemometer and WAV151 wind vane, or WAS425 ultrasonic wind sensor and with these reporting real time wind gust alarms into the Vaisala IceCast Rail Alarm Server in the Control Room.