The BERNARD Gruppe, has been engaged by the Asian Development Bank to develop technology for protecting wild elephants along a railway line in Bangladesh. An early warning system shall detect elephants using state-of-the-art sensor technologies and help to avoid collisions between animals and trains.

In the South Asian state of Bangladesh, a railway line is currently being built from Dohazari (south of Chittagong) to Cox’s Bazaar. Studies have shown that there are several elephant crossing points along this route. To protect both the endangered Asian elephants and the train passengers, some measures are currently being planned to avoid possible collisions between animals and trains.

Under the assignment name “Pilot testing of sensor system for prevention of elephant train collisions”, the Tyrolean family-owned company was engaged by the Asian Development Bank to find the best possible system by on-site testing of various sensor technologies.

Currently, unlike in Austria, train services in Bangladesh are operated without an automated signaling system. The BERNARD Gruppe thus will contribute to technical progress in Bangladesh by introducing technology that identifies elephants and enables direct communication with the train. Using modern sensors, data on the crossing elephants will be recorded and evaluated. Based on this data, suitable measures for early collision avoidance can be developed. In addition to recognizing crossing elephants, under the new system, the trains will also able to brake in time to prevent accidents with animals or similar dangerous situations. Depending on the situation, the trains may either slow down or come to a complete halt.

This project is financed by the Asian Development Bank, under TA-9549. For more information on the project, see TA 9549Railway Project

Martin Kraft-Fish, BERNARD Gruppe

Picture: © Norris Dodd on behalf of ADB