Deadman control, Dutch Railways

Deadman control panel

Dutch Railways


A deadman system (vigilance, alertness, drivers safety device, SIFA, VACMA) monitors the drivers alertness and applies the emergency brakes when the driver is not responding to indications given by the system. Deadman systems are defined by UIC standard UIC-641.

The deadman uses a timed cycle to repeatedly test the driver for allertness. Under normal circumstances the driver has to push a pedal at all times, to show its presence to the system. At given intervals the system lights up an indicator light to instruct the driver to release the pedal for a brief moment.

If the driver responds by doing so, the time cycle is reset and the cycle repeats itself. However, if the driver does not respond to the light, after some time an audible signal is given. Again, if the driver responds to this by briefly releasing the pedal, the cycle is reset and starts all over again.

If the driver does not respond to the audible alarm, the emergency brakes are applied to stop the train.

  • Monitoring of drivers alertness.
  • Indications given by system when driver have to respond.
  • Applies emergency brakes if driver is not responding.


Train builder:




Unique features:


Cable duct, wire numbering printed on the wire and Harting connectors are used.


High quality Mors Smitt instantaneous, flashing & time delay relays are applied.


Mors Smitt time delay relays with safety contacts (WNT, weld no transfer) have been selected.


Scope of project deadman contol
Project duration 2002 - 2003
No. of panels 555 pieces 
Trains 275 (Mat '64) 
Relays 6.105 pieces 
Panel assembly time 4.400 hrs 
Installation time 2.200 hrs 
Since date of use no failures are recorded