Network Rail Trial at Beeston Depot:

 “The Rail Safety System Magnetically Attached Safety  Barrier is 20 times faster to erect and dismantle than some Conventional Systems”

100 metres in 15 minutes

With the introduction of a new concept in Railway Safety Technology by Rail Safety Systems of the Netherlands, using their patented Magnetic Safety Barrier which attaches directly to the web of the rail; Network rail decided to carry out a comparative trial of approximately 100m length at their testing facility at Beeston, on 28th September 2011. The trial was supervised and monitored by both the Track Business Improvement Team (Western Route) and the Central Business Improvement Team.

Laying out handrails ready for installation


Three systems were trialled, using Balfour Beatty personnel to ensure uniformity of approach, equanimity and independence from the respective manufacturers, on both CEN60 and Bullhead Rail.

It was recognised and acknowledged that the operators were used to using the ‘conventional safety barrier systems’ which require the removal of ballast to attach the stanchions to the underside of the exposed rail. However, they had never previously seen the Magnetic Safety Barrier let alone used it.

Monitoring Progress

On this basis, Rail Safety Systems via the UK agent Innovative Railway Safety Ltd, were given 5 minutes to ‘train’ the operators how to erect the system before they undertook the comparative test.

Trying to 'push the barrier over' - without sucess.

Trying to 'push the barrier over' - without sucess.


 The results were videoed and demonstrated the following:



 Adjusting the Stanchion:

The Results:

Conventional Barriers currently in use:
Two gangs of six operators, using chained shovels and tools, were able to erect a designated length of safety barrier in 2 hours (120 minutes). This time frame was repeated on dismantling the barrier and replacing the ballast – albeit the ballast really required tamping after its replacement which could not be achieved at the trial.

Total Time:      2880 minutes ~ 48 man hours of work
12 x 120 = 1440 minutes to erect.
12 x 120 = 1440 minutes to dismantle.

Rail Safety System Magnetic Barrier:
One gang of 5men were given 5 minutes training.
No tools were employed or ballast removed.
(the ballast did not therefore require tamping afterwards)
One gang of 5 operators were able to erect a similar designated length of safety barrier in 15 minutes. Dismantling took some 11 minutes. 


Total Time:   130 minutes ~ 2.16 man hours of work
5 x 15 = 75 minutes to erect.
5 x 11 = 55 minutes to dismantle.

 The distinct advantages of the system are:

  • No loose components.
  • No tools needed.
  • No danger of damaging underground signaling cables.
  • Allows tamping & ballast cleaning to continue whilst in-situ.
  • Safe, simple and light.
  • Simple, safe and fast assembly/disassembly, with a simple magnetic attachment to the web of the rail, with no requirement to remove or replace ballast.
  • Very fast build time and thus a major saving in working and possession costs.
  • Does NOT affect track circuits or Axle counters
  • Can be used in areas where S & C present
  • The patented Magnetic Safety Barrier is easy to use and will therefore, be used!


The new RSS Magnetic Barrier system is in excess of 20 times faster to erect and dismantle, and therefore, 20 times less cost, than some existing conventional methods and with a lot less physical effort required of the workforce. It thus provides opportunities to erect and dismantle a given length in a single day/night shift, thus potentially significantly reducing possession times and/or mobilisation costs.

Friday, November 11th, 2011 Events, General, Product News
Innovative Rail & Roof Safety Ltd
Tŷ Penmynydd
Mobile: 07974 – 065798
E-mail :
Web site: