As the Association of American Railroads (AAR) puts it, the railroad “factory floor” is outdoors and more than 140,000 miles long, making it virtually impossible to secure the entire network with physical infrastructure. Railway security fences or gated rail yards can be easily circumvented, and switching devices along the track bed are often unlocked, making it possible for unauthorized persons to re-direct and potentially derail a train by simply pulling a lever.
Rail security problems such as rail yard vandalism cost the industry millions of dollars; the sight of graffiti-covered cars, some carrying toxic chemicals, is a jolting reminder of the seriousness of rail security.
Solving Railway Security Challenges with Smart Thermal Cameras
To combat the vulnerabilities that exist, smart thermal cameras are becoming the solution of choice to resolve railway security problems for organizations around the world. While you can’t place a physical barrier like a fence directly across the operating area of a train, you can place a “virtual” fence using smart video to detect someone entering the operational area, sending an alarm the instant violations occur.
Railway security typically involves low-light conditions; thermal cameras represent an ideal detection source, stopping intrusions that might occur in complete darkness or bright sun, removing the need for illumination along railyard environments. Smart thermal cameras like the SightSensor provide hands-free PTZ tracking capabilities, helping railroad companies detect, confirm, and respond to threats quickly and precisely when breaches occur, while built-in electronic stabilization eliminates false alerts caused by vibrations from wind or train movement.
Thermal SightSensors also cover very large perimeters common to railroads and rail yard security applications, detecting intruders at areas as wide as an acre and as far as 600 meters, increasing the time guards have to respond while decreasing the number of cameras needed, reducing costs.
Click here to read how a major Class 1 railway company is using SightLogix thermal video security systems for railway perimeter security at locations that include railroad bridges spanning rivers and ravines, rail bridges located in remote and urban areas with constant river traffic, and to protect activities at a rail tunnel site under construction.