Keeping CrossCountry’s trains on track

Anyone who uses the railways knows it can take just one problem on the line to cause delays for thousands of people. Britain’s rail companies spend millions of pounds every year ensuring their services run on time but, with over 20,000 miles of track to maintain and keep clear, problems are inevitable.

Now the rail companies have another method of monitoring the lines and identifying problems either before they occur and cause a delay or immediately something goes wrong in order to minimise disruption – CCTV.

21st Century Rail Division has recently completed a project to install cameras on to 91 CrossCountry trains to monitor the rail infrastructure of Britain’s largest railway route. It stretches from Aberdeen to Penzance and across from Stansted to Cardiff, covering around 1,500 miles of track.

The 21st Century system gives CrossCountry access to live and recorded images in High Definition and will provide vital video evidence when dealing with incidents such as incorrect signal sequences, signals passed, obstructions on the line and infrastructure failure. They will also provide evidence in cases of trespass and vandalism, or accidents and fatalities.

The key benefit of the new CCTV system is its ability to be viewed in 'real time', meaning that if an incident occurs then CrossCountry can immediately review what happened. This facilty can be invaluable in ensuring corrective action is quickly taken to reduce delays. The system can also be accesssed by the British Transport Police, who can review the images before responding to incidents such as trespassing, helping them quickly identify people involved.

The cameras record constantly, so they also provide images for vegetation surveys, as well as support trackside maintenance and monitor the location of equipment.

Andy Cooper, Managing Director for CrossCountry, comments: “21st Century's CCTV system is quickly becoming an important part of our work to reduce delays and inconvenience to our customers. From small incidents to large, the ability to see immediately what happened and to review the footage afterwards will dramatically reduce disruption to Britain's railways and show our customers we are doing everything we can to give them a great journey.”