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Automatic Railway Gate Control

Written by Amol Shah

Automatic Railway Gate Control



A level crossing occurs where a railway line is intersected by a road or path on one level, without recourse to a bridge or tunnel. It is a type of at-grade intersection.

The term also applies when a light rail line with separate right-of-way or reserved track crosses a road in the same fashion. Other names include railway crossing, railroad crossing, road through railroad, train crossing or grade crossing.


Early level crossings had a flagman in a nearby booth who would, on the approach of a train, wave a red flag or lantern to stop all traffic and clear the tracks. Manual or electrical closable gates that barricaded the roadway were later introduced. The gates were intended to be a complete barrier against intrusion of any road traffic onto the railway. In the early days of the railways much road traffic was horsedrawn or included livestock. It was thus necessary to provide a real barrier. Thus, crossing gates, when closed to road traffic, crossed the entire width of the road. When opened to allow road users to cross the line, the gates were swung across the width of the railway, preventing any pedestrians or animals getting onto the line.

With the appearance of motor vehicles, this barrier became less effective and the need for a barrier to livestock diminished dramatically. Many countries therefore substituted the gated crossings with weaker but more highly visible barriers and relied upon road users following the associated warning signals to stop.

In many countries, level crossings on less important roads and railway lines are often "open" or "uncontrolled", sometimes with warning lights or bells to warn of approaching trains. Ungated crossings represent a safety concern; many accidents have occurred due to failure to notice or obey the warning.

Level crossings present a significant risk of collisions between trains and road vehicles. Level crossings in India, China, Thailand, and Malaysia are still largely manually-operated, where the barriers are lowered using a manual switch when trains approach.


Block Diagram:

Block Diagram: Automatic Railway Gate Control


Project Description:

Our project is designed using 8051 microcontroller to avoid railway accidents happening at unattended railway gates. This project utilizes two IR trans-receiver pair; one pair of IR trans-receiver is fixed at one side of the railway gate and similarly the other pair is fixed at the other side of the railway gate. Whenever a signal from any of the trans-receiver is detected a buzzer is sounded for say five seconds and then the gates are closed we will be using DC geared motor to open and close the gates. Now when the train is again detected at other IR trans-receiver the gates are opened. We will be using L293 driver IC to control the motor i.e. open and close the gates.

This type of gates can be employed in an unmanned level crossing where the chances of accidents are higher and reliable operation is required. Since, the operation is automatic; error due to manual operation is prevented. Automatic railway gate control is highly economical microcontroller based arrangement, designed for use in almost all the unmanned level crossings in the country.


Existing System:-

1. Manual/Physical gate closing & opening.

2. Manual switch based gate closing & opening.


Limitations of exiting system:-

1. Chances of human error.

2. Time consuming.

3. A lot of human resource is required.


Features of Proposed System:-

1. The system will consist of 2 IR trans-receiver pairs.

2. Micro controller based circuit design.

3. Automatic train sensing & gate controlling.

4. Bidirectional gate controlling or Bidirectional train sensing.

5. If required PC based GUI for better interface.

6. The gate will be closed till the whole train passes out.

7. The opening of gate will be sensor based not delay based.


Software Used:-

1. Assembly Language for the Microcontroller coding.

2. Keil Compiler

3. Micro Flash Programmer for loading the code into the controller.



1. Reduces Chances of human error.

2. Less Time consuming.

3. No human resource is required.



1. Railway gate controlling.

2. Parking gate controlling.

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