IDWSInterim Defensive Weapon System (US DoD)
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In 1974, the METRO Board of Consultants stipulated that the IDWS chain-link fence be erected between the two tracks at a constant height of 12 feet above track level so it could warn of derailment or a shifting load of lumber, steel beams or ammunition on a flatcar that could rip open an entire METRO train without either train leaving the track.
Specifically, these options include installing an IDWS fence at 12 feet above track level, limiting the speed of both transit and railroad trains when they pass one another, and scheduling railroad trains at periods when transit trains are either not running or running at infrequent intervals.
Other options include installing direct and mandatory radio contact between transit and railroad train operators while in the common corridor (many trains still do not have cab radios and must depend on track signals); removing human operators from the warning loop so that when the IDWS wire is broken, non-intruders are automatically and instantaneously warned of intrusion and the 750-volt transit third rail is deactivated; and reducing double jeopardy in the corridors by having only one transit-railroad interface.