Robust GELcore TR3 LED Signal Modules Light the Way for Amtrak
VALLEY VIEW, Ohio — (NYSE: GE) — The future looks bright for Amtrak locomotive engineers guiding trains throughout the Northeast Corridor and maintenance and repair staff responsible for the upkeep of catenary hardware in the region. Amtrak's C&S Repair Shop has been retrofitting incandescent wayside signals, highway railroad crossings, and control panel lighting throughout the system - in Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware and Maryland - with low-voltage, long-life devices that include GELcore TR3 LED Signal Modules.
"LED technology has been a great improvement in railway signaling," says Paul Lockard, manager of Amtrak's C&S Repair Shop. "LEDs provide improved appearance and visibility compared to standard optical elements using filament bulbs. The optical focusing that aligns the signal is no longer required. The indication conveyed by the LED signals presently in service is clearly discernable in a variety of weather conditions."
GELcore LLC, an industry leader in developing innovative LED systems and advanced LED technologies for general illumination products, offers sealed, all-weather LED modules to retrofit green, yellow, red and lunar white signals for commuter rail, rapid transit and freight railroad applications. All of the company's railway products - 5-inch (127 mm) and 5.5-inch (140 mm) TR3 wayside signals; 8-inch (210 mm) RM4 wayside signals; plus 8-inch (210 mm) RG4 and 12-inch (300 mm) RG6 grade crossing flashers - are designed to provide uncomplicated signal-housing retrofits.
Available in 10-volt AC/DC or 120-volt AC, the high-efficiency, long-life GELcore TR3 LED Signal Module draws a low current across a wide operational voltage range. It is fully compatible with light-out detection systems. It comes with a four-year limited warranty, and GELcore TR3 LED Signal Modules offer years of maintenance-free operation because LEDs are solid-state devices with no moving parts, bulbs, filaments or tubes to fail.
Combining long life and low voltage in a signal lighting solution appeals to Amtrak. "Signals located on high bridges or close to energized high voltage power lines or catenary present serious employee hazards," says Lockard. "Once these signals are retrofitted with LEDs, our fall protection and power clearance issues are greatly minimized because of these longer life products."
Suitable for tunnel and outdoor applications, GELcore TR3 LED Signal Modules feature a unique, pre-focused beam pattern that delivers improved sighting distance under a wide range of weather conditions, including intense sunlight and dense fog.
Amtrak's conversion to GELcore TR3 LED Signal Modules involved five steps:
- Strip, clean and repaint old PL-3 housings
- Mount GELcore TR3 LED Signal Modules using existing mounting provisions with slight modifications
- Paint and insert PVC spacer ring to occupy the space of the original colored roundel
- Attach clear conical cover lens, retaining ring and sun hood
- Inspect newly retrofit housings
"The years of service provided by GELcore TR3 LED Signal Modules eclipses what rail companies such as Amtrak have seen from older incandescent technologies," says Dominic Balthazar, railway products manager for GELcore. "Besides lowering energy costs by as much as 75 percent, long-lasting LEDs drastically reduce the frequency of maintenance. For most companies, the total overall cost benefits are extremely attractive."
Additional benefits of retrofitting with GELcore TR3 LED Signal Modules:
- No need for variable power resistors to adjust supply voltage
- Can eliminate the need for step-down transformers
- Compatible for retrofit into most existing housings or in new installations
"With such marked advantages provided by LED technology, it is likely that we will continue to explore their use on our system," says Lockard. "The ROI figures are significant."
GELcore LLC, a joint venture of GE and EMCORE Corporation, develops and markets LED products and systems for the signage, automotive, signals and specialty segments. GELcore advances the application of LED technology and creates world-class LED systems by combining superior engineering in electronics, optics and thermal management, and through the continued research and development of white LEDs for the emerging general illumination market. For more information about the company, call 216.606.6555 or visit www.gelcore.com
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Amtrak Disclaimer: Amtrak (National Railroad Passenger Corporation) does not endorse any product or make any claims relative to a product's performance or safety. Amtrak shall not be held liable for the performance of any product considered in this technical review document. The user of this document shall indemnify and hold harmless Amtrak and its officers against any and all losses and liability that might be incurred through the use of this product.