With ever more passengers embarking on a daily train journey, digital technology is playing a crucial role in improving the service. Investment in the Internet of Things (IoT) is no longer an option. Smart technology, surveillance and remote wireless monitoring are vital for enhancing efficiency, safety and the management of operations across the UK’s rail network.
A common cause of service delays and cancellations are problems with the track. Exposed to the elements, the flat bottom steel rails expand and contract in extremes of temperature. Buckled, cracked or damaged track needs immediate maintenance which impacts on services.
Track monitoring with sensors minimises this risk. In providing data on rail temperatures and crack detection, technology provides a clear map of miles of track. As such it supports the early identification of potential issues. Such data enables rail operators to prioritise maintenance, minimise disruption and prevent serious issues including derailments.
Channelling resources where they are most needed is beneficial in terms of efficiencies and cost savings. It also supports compliance with regulatory requirements for safeguarding passengers. In short, digital monitoring supports safe and reliable transportation.
Over time the data provides a bigger picture of wear and tear patterns. This allows railway operators to accurately predict where component failure is likely, even before an issue is detected.
Arbor’s wide temperature embedded boards feature in track and trackside monitoring devices. Operational in temperatures spanning -40 to 85 degrees, with long term availability and coupled with Arbor’s in-house conformal coating, our embedded boards are especially suited to the rail industry. Our COM Express, PC 104 Modules and ETX wide temperature embedded computing solutions are highly competitive and we can fulfil low or high volume orders.
Packed platforms and a high demand for seats, makes it daunting to manoeuvring through a busy station and travelling on a train. By tackling passenger flow, capacity issues and on-board safety, the IoT offers solutions.
Back in 2007, Netherland Railways first introduced chipcards in place of tickets. Over time these were supported by the installation of surveillance and Wi-Fi technologies. Since 2013 passenger movement to and through the country’s busiest stations has been monitored. Anonymity has been maintained and the data has influenced station design and train timetables. The same approach is now being adopted across Europe and the UK.
Understanding patterns in the movement of passengers provides the opportunity to design and build features that better manage the flow. Actions include improvements to the allocation of resources and responsive digital signage that moves passengers to different areas of the station.
The data also highlights unusual passenger behaviour, which can indicate a problem before it has been reported. This allows immediate action to be taken to minimise the impact.
On-board CCTV also enhances the safety and security of passengers and railway employees. These in-vehicle computers support the prevention of incidents, in addition to providing evidence. Arbor’s embedded technology enables the installation of robust and reliable on-board surveillance. Our wide temperature fanless transportation computers incorporate Intel® processors. They enable multiple CCTV devices to be controlled from a single point on the train, or wireless operation.
Investment in digitalising railway systems will ensure that the rail network can respond to growing demand and deliver safe, efficient and on-time passenger services. No one wants to see that their train has been delayed, not least the operators. With investment in an embedded transport system and a data driven digital infrastructure, the risk should reduce, even as passenger numbers grow.
Arbor Technology manufactures embedded solutions for digital signage, surveillance and monitoring. These include box PCs, touch screen PCs and embedded boards. Our railway computers are resistant to shock, vibration and extreme temperature variation. From ticketing and passenger flow, to track maintenance and safety, our fanless transportation computers are purpose built to meet the specific demands of the transportation industry.