Rail ecosystem: How can VMS help increase security?
Many of the security issues around the rail industry are about passenger safety. Traditionally, this has referred to securing people on trains, platforms and at the stations, but protecting different operations and information systems has also become a topical matter. In accessible and extensive environments like railways and stations, both passengers and operations can be exposed to vulnerabilities and security threats.
One way to address security issues across the end-to-end rail ecosystem is to deploy a modern Video Management System (VMS) with a network of video surveillance cameras, recorders, data storage, servers and especially, efficient and robust wireless connection between trains and ground systems. A VMS allows surveillance, recording, storage and investigation of what is happening on trains, platforms and at the stations, collection of evidential information and taking preventative measures via increased situational awareness. In addition, the system can be used to serve needs such as optimizing and endorsing operations.
Within the rail ecosystem, the challenge for such a VMS is combining management of video and other operations at crowded stations and on platforms and constantly moving trains, and ensuring effective wireless transmission of data between mobile and ground systems. In addition, other rail-specific requirements such as vibration and electromagnetic fields set specific requirements to the VMS.
More than just video
As an IRIS-certified technology provider, Teleste addresses the challenge by its IP video management solution, the S-VMX, a system that provides reliable and effective management and control of both live and recorded video. A unique feature of the solution is its advanced, built-in support for multisite and multicast environments: whether on-board or at stations, the solution allows unlimited and seamless integration of different on-board and station systems, such as VCA and different physical sensors, under a single umbrella.
The S-VMX is a powerful tool for enhancing security across the rail system. Not only does the solution enable collecting, investigating and analysing information via live and recorded camera views; it also reduces silos, overlapping features and information disconnects from the overall systems, thus improving real-time visibility over the operations. The solution also guarantees efficient transmission of data between the moving trains and the ground systems via Teleste’s patent-pending wireless offload technology.
The S-VMX benefits the rail industry by providing accurate and timely information about both the physical environment and different system-level functionalities, including possible strain points and hardware failures. Via improved situational awareness, the solution enables taking precise actions as well as creating preventative processes across the system. When passenger safety is at stake, ensuring their physical security on trains and at stations is essential. In addition, rail operators need to find ways to block vulnerability gaps in their operating environment. Teleste’s S-VMX can help them achieve both targets.
Downward trend in crimes on CTA trains
Investing in modern video surveillance and management systems has created notable results in decreasing crime. After investing heavily in security technology in 2011, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), one of the world’s largest mass transit operators, has reported a downward trend in crime rates.
Combined with a strenghtened crime-fighting approach, the CTA has built a network thousands of video surveillance cameras located on-board as well as at the stations and platforms. According to the company, the investment has proven effective; 2014 saw the fewest serious crimes in the last four years, including a 24 percent decrease in overall serious personal and property crimes across the rail system. Further, robberies fell 23 percent onboard Chicago’s trains and 28 percent at the city’s stations and platforms – additionally, the number of thefts fell 31 percent on trains and 12 percent at stations and platforms. More about the statistics on the CTA’s website