Northern has started kitting out trains with LIDAR horizon scanning cameras. These cameras, the same used by NASA, offer 180-degree thermal imaging software, acoustic monitors, a G-Shock Bogie and an AI camera.
These “intelligent trains” will be able to identify any defects in the railway track and automatically log the location and notify maintenance teams to schedule in a repair. They can also scan the horizon looking for anything that may represent a danger to operations such as a fallen tree. They will be able to connect with police and allow officers to tune in and view live footage.
Jack Commandeur, engineering director at Northern said: “This is an exciting moment for all of us here at Northern. Our ‘Intelligent Trains’ won’t just travel the network, they will actively monitor and report back on issues that could have an impact on our operation.
“The result will be greater efficiencies in terms of resource allocation, faster responses in terms of maintenance programmes and an overall smarter – and safer – way of working.”
Northern’s ‘Intelligent Trains’ programme is being delivered in partnership with Network Rail, Belvoir Rail, Yellow Rail and Modux.