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Ghost Train Generator Reduces Collision Incidents

Fermi Ghost

Technology: Ghost Train Generator

Opportunity: Heavy or long wheel-based vehicles can become stuck or “high-centered” on railroad grade crossings, sometimes leading to highly destructive train accidents. An emergency device that “talks” directly to the railroad traffic signaling infrastructure could send instant red stop signals to trains within several miles of a blocked crossing.

Details: Fermilab has developed a simple, inexpensive, effective device to reduce collision incidents related to vehicles stuck on railroad grade crossings. This device will simulate the continuity of locomotives or other rolling stock from rail to rail, therefore closing the existing DC track circuit and mimicking the presence of a train at the location of deployment. The intention of the deployment of this device is to force adjoining railroad block signals into a red condition, indicating that a grade crossing is occupied in the event of a vehicle becoming stranded. Emergency use only device. Self-contained portable capsule containing a very low resistance electrical load to be deployed across railroad rails utilizing two strong magnets affixed to each end of a mechanically robust load.


  • Cheap, compact, and efficient method of initiating a red signal condition
  • Can instantly warn a train’s crew of trouble at a crossing

Potential Applications:

  • First responder vehicles (police, fire, emergency medical personnel, etc.)
  • Professional drivers (semi-trucks)
  • Railroad industry 

Contact: For more information about this Fermilab technology, contact Aaron Sauers at

To view the original technology listing on the Fermi website, visit