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The future of train and passenger CCTV

Published on 19 June, 2006

These days train and network operators have a heightened requirement to provide a safe and secure environment for passengers and staff when travelling.  But a passenger's end-to-end experience for their ‘journey' will encompass the car park, concourse, passageways, platforms and onboard the carriages.  So how can you increase confidence whilst at the same time reduce anti-social behaviour across these environments?

When looking at CCTV and the surrounding problems encountered today, there are three main areas where CCTV can help:

  • Safety - The need to ensure passenger or employee safety including while boarding the train or around the concourse, and understanding congestion and the dangers this brings.  Effectively, making sure that the network is a safe place to travel and accident spots or track obstructions can be identified before they happen.
  • Security - Identifying assaults, terrorist activity, intruders, and generally reducing anti-social behaviour and crime.
  • Efficiency - identifying passenger trends and behaviour, looking at numbers of passengers and where they get on or off carriages, through to live passenger counting on-board to know when carriages are full.

These issues relate directly to the three core areas where CCTV can be effectively implemented:

  • Stations - Passengers move from the car park, on to the station concourse, through the corridors and passages before making their way to the platform.  It is important to be able to identify, for instance, where a passenger left their bag, where did they get mugged, who carried out the vandalism.
  • Onboard - Onboard, the ability to identify real-time when issues occur.  Also the ability to identify if anyone is still in a carriage - maybe asleep, as the train or train heads for the depot, as well as who painted graffiti or tore the seats.  All these security measures should be visible so to as act as a deterrent and reduce crime, and also increase passenger confidence.
  • Across the infrastructure - With mile after mile of track, level crossings and vulnerable bridges and tunnels, many opportunities exist for malicious activity.  Coupled with this is the need to secure depots and the physical rolling stock against damage when not in use.

The reality today is that all these three areas need to be secured and integrated in a cost-effective manner to provide a secure rail network.

A range of sophisticated products exists today to satisfy the end-user need: digital recorders, cameras, wireless transmission, repeaters, encoders and decoders to name a few.  It is important to consider however, how your individual components are able to integrate with existing analogue technology. 

Wireless links are particularly useful for hard-to-reach tracks or bridges to capture video from such obtuse locations. 

Images of passengers on board can be captured and transmitted to the driver in real-time or across a link to a station or control centre; images can also be captured from car parks, throughout passageways and platforms so that a full, high quality set of images can be seen by either a local or central monitoring centre. 

Innovative software applications are similarly available which can analyse and alert operators when specific motion is detected near a sensitive area such as a tunnel or bridge.  Passenger numbers (coming on or off a train) can be counted and the information integrated with systems showing station information to provide data on key passenger usage.

Technology can contribute significantly to providing a safe environment for passengers and staff, increasing confidence and usage and deterring crime, while reducing the costs of expensive removal of graffiti and fixing damage.

Verint Solutions for Mobile Transportation

Verint has recently provided solutions for many rail organisations looking to improve CCTV operations including London Underground, DSB Copenhagen, Montreal Metro and Santa Clara Valley.

Verint Systems delivers a range of mobile DVRs, cameras and monitors, built for value and durability and ideally suited to meet these demands. 

Verint's mDVR Digital Video Recorders are designed to provide high-quality video surveillance on-board buses and trains, delivering MPEG-4 recording and transmission for up to 12 camera inputs and a rate of up to 300 frames per second (FPS).  The mDVR Series provides reliable on-board recording and can transmit images or alarms for remote monitoring over a wireless, GPRS, 3G or UMTS network connection.

Complementing mDVR Series, Verint's Mobile Cameras are vandal resistant and equipped with rounded edges to protect against passenger injury.  Verint's cameras deliver clear, crisp images under virtually any lighting conditions, and can send those images to multiple monitors on a train, tram or bus, giving operators real-time visibility to activities taking place throughout the vehicle.

Verint's solutions offer the combined advantages of technical sophistication and robustness and are effective in deterring crime and anti-social behaviour and in providing actionable intelligence to support improved security and, where necessary, court prosecution.

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