Identify this railway contraption.
April 7, 2007 2:11 AM   Subscribe

What is this weird railway fence contraption? There are a series of poles with wire strung between them. It looks sort of like a fence, but the wire is horizontal only. (photos inside)

See these photos:

It looks like some sort of sensor, but I haven't quite figured out what it is used for. It's located on the CN rail line near Prince Rupert, British Columbia.

The railway has a river on one side, and a steep cliff on another, so it isn't any wildlife fence. Is it used to detect mudslides / avalanches / rockfalls? Or is it something used to track railcars as they zoom by?
posted by MiG to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total)

I would guess that it's to keep falling rocks and debris from piling up on the track.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 2:22 AM on April 7, 2007

They are rockslide detectors.

If they are tripped, they override the signaling system, setting them to red in all directions, and set off an alarm, so that the human engineers can get to work correcting the problem.
posted by pjern at 2:22 AM on April 7, 2007

Even a tree, I imagine. You can see alot of dead wood on the cliffs in your photos.

My first thought was "Tyranosaur paddock!"
posted by cowbellemoo at 2:25 AM on April 7, 2007 [1 favorite]

i had hoped maybe they were some sort of eruv. rockslides are so much less glamorous than giant religious loopholes.
posted by twistofrhyme at 8:39 PM on April 7, 2007

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