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What to consider when installing Optirail pedestrian guardrail on highways projects

What to consider when installing Optirail pedestrian guardrail on highways projects

When working on a highways project where visibility is of most importance, many will opt for Alpha Rail’s Optirail pedestrian guardrail, which is considered to be the market leading product since its creation in the 1980’s.

Alpha Rail carries large amounts of galvanised Optirail in stock, allowing for the fastest turnaround times and delivery within 3-5 days.

Along with carrying out its main function of guiding pedestrians to safer crossing points, Optirail favours added visibility through the use of its staggered infill bars. They available in three unique arrangements, each designed to suit differing road speeds. These are known as our V2, V4 and V8 panel types.

At certain approach angles, the straight infills within a standard pedestrian guardrail panel can create an effect that obscures vision and may stop road users from seeing small children or animals at crossing points. This is obviously a potential safety risk, and in the 1980s a traffic engineer designed the concept of staggered infills giving unique visibility, which he patented at the time.

At the time of its creation, research was thoroughly carried out which proved its effectiveness – this was reflected in the reduction of road traffic accidents at the locations where it was used.

Galvanised Optirail pedestrian guardrail

Galvanised Optirail pedestrian guardrail

Different stagger types

The three different stagger types exist to offer visibility at various road speeds.

Starting with the V2 Optirail panel, it has 2 rows of 8 infills, which is designed for use on straight roads at moderate to high speeds, with an optimum sight angle of 2.5° to 5°.

The V4 Optirail panel features 4 rows of 4 infills, which is better suited for low to moderate speeds, and slight curves. The optimum sight angle is 5° to 14°.

Finally, the V8 Optirail panel has 8 rows of 2 infills, which is to be used where the optimum sight angle is more than 14° on roads with a curve that has less than 15M radius.

Diagram from an old Alpha Rail brochure


For more information on Optirail and the selection criteria, visit our Technical Drawings page, email us or give us a call.


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