Railway Yards

Railway yards comprise a complex system of railway tracks with switches and crossings for the purpose of storing, sorting, loading and unloading rail vehicles as well as assembling new trains, etc. Yards usually consist of multiple tracks on which the movement of trains, passengers, and goods must be controlled. Axle counter provides the information needed for controlling such movements in the yard in a safe and efficient manner. Frauscher axle counter FAdC provides additional benefits like no electronics on trackside, no drilling of holes in rail and possibility of direct interface with interlocking without relays.


  • Complexity of large yards with switch points and crossings 
  • Availability and reliability
  • Less time available for reset and restart at busy stations
  • Shunting movements
  • Quick installation and removal during track maintenance operations required
  • Single component failure could bring a whole station to a standstill
  • Maintenance crews on the track might cause temporary influences that affect the axle counters.
  • Failures of the electronics on the track caused by external influences (lightning, traction current, etc.…)
  • Limited space between tracks for equipment, personnel, …
  • Drilling holes into the tracks requires a lot of time when installing sensors in complex track layouts.
  • Conventional axle counters generally have very complex hardware and earthing that take up a lot of space.


The Frauscher Advanced Counter FAdC system is very flexible regarding design and architecture. It is mainly used in yards with centralised and decentralised architectures, and its purpose is to optimise economic and operational efficiency while ensuring safety, reliability, and availability.

The yard of a station can be small or very large, depending on the number of route lines and the traffic on these lines. Detection points are installed along the yard’s boundary. Since the FAdC is highly flexible and network-enabled, different types of architectures can be designed depending on a yard’s size and layout. 

Decentralised architecture

  • In larger yards, the evaluation unit and other electronic components of FAdC system can be placed in the Signalling Equipment Room and  in different locations (Cabins/Gumties) of the station. The Wheel Sensors RSR180 are connected only to the evaluation unit of indoor electronic system that is closest to them, which significantly reduces the need for long quad cables that run from the central evaluation board of the axle counter to the wheel sensors.

  • Within the Railway yard limits, the FAdC systems placed in different locations (Signalling Equipment Room or Station Cabin or Gumties) are interconnected through Copper or Fibre optic media. The track section status and reset inputs can be exchanged between the Interlocking system and FAdC at whichever location it may be required. 

  • To ensure high availability of the FAdC systems at different locations, a redundant ethernet network can be established by connecting them in any combinations of Quad cable or Optical Fibre cable or both of them. This can be achieved without any auto- changeover circuit to swiftly switch between the networks.

Centralised architecture

  • In smaller yards, the axle counters can be controlled with the FAdC system installed in the signalling equipment room located at the main station building, which is connected to the wheel sensors installed in the yard. 
  • The reset interface and track status are available in the central signalling equipment room and can be easily connected to the interlocking. 
  • In case of a failure, diagnostics are available at the central signalling equipment room, which makes maintenance work significantly easier. 

Fully redundant and highly available architecture

  • The FAdC also enables the system to be kept at a very high level of availability since almost all the components of the axle counter system are redundant. This architecture ensures that the failure of a single component does not affect train operations at any point in time. 
  • This solution can be provided for critical locations where fault avoidance takes priority. The fully redundant, highly available system can be employed in both centralised and decentralised architectures.


Fast implementation and installation

Supervisor track sections for the auto-reset of tracks

CHC makes the system immune to temporary influences (e.g. maintenance crews)

Maintenance friendly: decreased need for personnel to be on the tracks, as there is less trackside equipment 

Compact sensors that fit in tight spaces between rails in case of complex track layouts

No trackside electronics 

All electronic adjustments are carried out indoors requiring less access to the tracks for such activities.

Better immunity to traction interference and ease of maintenance

No drilling of holes into the rail required
Related Topics