4PTW – 4Tel’s Permit-To-Work System

4PTW App interface for rugged device4Tel’s end-to-end solution for delivering electronic work-on-track authorities into rail control environment

4PTW is an electronic Permit-To-Work system for managing authorities to support track maintenance activities.  The system includes a mobile application (“app”) for use by protection officers (“PO”) and a central server to integrate it into the train control environment.

4PTW addresses the issues and concerns highlighted in the Rail Safety Report 2014-2015 from the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR).  This paper acknowledges that “Worksite protection in Australia relies heavily on rules and procedures to protect people undertaking rail safety work. These administrative controls are highly vulnerable to human error and potential consequence of non-compliance can be fatal”. 

4PTW improves the safety, efficiency and effectiveness of track maintenance activities through the use of mobile app technology and integrated engineering controls.  It provides a complete solution for all maintenance activities in the corridor without reliance on administrative controls, voice communications or hand-written authorities.

There are three levels of deployment available to meet specific business needs:

  • Level 1: Electronic messaging between train control environment and PO mobile app
  • Level 2: Level 1 plus integration with a centralised vital Interlocking
  • Level 3: Level 2 plus on-board enforcement of track vehicles/work trains
Level 1
Worksite Safety
  • Central server application to manage track access
  • Supports cloud, Virtual Machine, or hardware based deployment
  • Electronic message transfer
  • Security codes for authority release
  • Security codes for overlapping authorities
  • Secure communications between field and central server
  • Dynamic mobile app authority display
  • Geographic map view of authority limits, PO location, and associated rail traffic
  • Text message confirmation of authority actions
  • Off-the-shelf smartphone mobile devices (IOS and Android compatible)
  • Detailed logging for both centralised server and mobile app
  • Compatible with private or public communications networks
  • Integration with track maintenance planning systems
  • Control centre visibility of trains and worksites, but not interlocked into the safety system
Level 2
Network Safety

Level 1 plus:

  • Integration with train control systems
  • Centralised interlocking of all train and track maintenance authorities ()
  • Engineering control for authority release
  • Complements Safety Integrity Level (SIL) validated systems and processes
  • Electronic graph display of authority
  • Control centre visibility of safety interlocked train and track maintenance authorities
Level 3
On-board Safety

Level 1 or level 2 plus:

  • Enforcement of track maintenance authority limits within a locomotive or track vehicle
  • In vehicle proximity- warnings and alarms when approaching a worksite

Improving Situational Awareness

Available with level 1, 2 or 3:

  • On-board device or mobile app to display:
  • Train locations
  • Train running information
  • Track maintenance information
  • Conditions affecting the network (e.g. speed restriction, failed level crossing)
  • Corridor infrastructure