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Importance Of Surveillance In Train Tunnel Transport

By Abhishek Kumar, Regional Director, Oncam

Abhishek is a pioneering professional with immense industry experience and business acumen

Every time there is a crime or a mis­demeanor, the first factor is the pres­ence and validity of surveillance foot­age. Every time there is an accident, a monitoring facility is first inspected to find the cause. But surveillance goes beyond investiga­tive measures. It also ensures general compliance. When anyone has been made aware that they are being moni­tored, they immediately become more conscious and re­frain from minor infractions. But more importantly, sur­veillance ensures the safety of a community.

Trains provide affordable transportation of passen­gers and goods in higher altitudes, mountains, or gen­erally hard-to-reach areas. Tunnels play a crucial factor in ensuring that trains operate hassle-free. However, the way they are constructed and situated makes mainte­nance difficult, making them one of the most accident-prone places. This is why professional and proper sur­veillance is a requirement in tunnels that house railway tracks. Apart from the apparent causes of accidents like natural calamities such as landslides, floods, or damages to the tracks, a significant contributor to railway acci­dents can be the passengers themselves. Tunnels instill a claustrophobic sense while traveling through them, and some of the passengers tend to put themselves in dan­ger by peeking out, which causes many accidents. So, at the very least, surveillance in tunnels helps ensure that passengers adhere to general compliance and security measures.

Let’s take a look at why surveillance in train tunnels should be mandatory:

Seamless Monitoring of a Complex Environment
Due to tunnels’ largesse and dim-lit nature, understand­ing and operating them can be a difficult task. This is even more true when you consider train tunnels, where trains traverse them multiple times and at high veloci­ties. Moreover, tunnels are damp places as well, and this makes the railway tracks prone to damages. However, us­ing a centralized network of surveillance monitoring sys­tems, the entire tunnel can be covered in a more effective manner. By installing 360-degree Panoramic Cameras, greater situational awareness is created inside tunnels, especially when cameras are equipped with split 2-way corridor views, which allow users to watch both direc­tions of a 360-image at the same time.

"Tunnels play a crucial factor in ensuring that trains operate hassle-free. However, the way they are constructed and situated makes maintenance difficult, making them one of the most accident-prone places"

Management of the tunnel as a whole can be made more optimized with Integrated CCTV Systems. By using cameras with advanced light management and HDR fea­tures, monitoring the dark places in the tunnels becomes possible even in these challenging light conditions.

Most tunnels support trains that travel at speeds up to 91 Km/ hrs. Tracking and monitoring objects that travel at high velocities in dimly lit places are, at best, an arduous task. However, with the right tools, it is not impossible. By implementing high-performance, 50+ fps cameras, trains moving at high speeds can easily be monitored and analyzed. Efficient compression technolo­gies can ensure that this data-rich stream doesn’t be­come a burden for streaming and storage infrastructure by keeping bandwidth usage and server storage as mini­mal as possible.

CCTV systems are not always used for hindsight pur­poses. That is understanding something after an incident has occurred. CCTV systems are crucial because they en­able people in charge to be proactive. When the trains that pass-through tunnels are monitored 24x7 and ana­lyzed by unique cameras integrated with Automated Inci­dent Detection Systems, the built-in video analytics sup­ports operators in identifying accidents like landslides, train collisions, etc., in live time. This enables rescue teams to be dispatched quickly and guided accurately. Additionally, it provides operators with a chance to re­route other trains safely.

Seamless Traffic Maintenance and Comprehensive Acci­dent Investigations
Tunnels have strategic importance. In a lot of places, train tunnels are the one reliable mode of transportation and they are imperative to maintain an uninterrupted supply chain to nearby villages/towns. If there is an un­fortunate accident or a train breakdown, this will cause a lot of problems. For example, if an accident isn't noticed at the earliest, and if the other trains have not been made aware of the maintenance issue, then there is no way to avoid a prolonged traffic deadlock. This can prove seri­ously dangerous if any one of the cargo trains is trans­porting medical equipment, etc. However, by employing a reliable surveillance and warning system, the authorities and respective teams can be alerted, information can be passed on sooner, and the other trains can be alerted ahead of time.

The poor lighting, cramped space, damp environmen­tof train tunnels, can turn a minor infraction into a sig­nificant accident. What's worse is that it is challenging to investigate the cause without the right tools. Getting a clear understanding of what transpired is essential for the investigation. A proper eagle eye and wide-angle view can be linchpins to identify the cause. This crucial information can be gathered through the installation of 360-degreepanoramic cameras. They can provide effi­cient retrospective tracking information. Using the infor­mation gathered, the cause of accidents can be identified, and more importantly, future accidents can be prevented.

Additional Benefits of Teaming with Security Enter­prises
To date, no security system can be categorized as 100% impenetrable. Everything that uses the internet or is in­tegrated into devices and systems that support the inter­net is vulnerable. However, what makes a system reliant is the effort and precautions taken to firewall attacks. This is primarily why it is beneficial and often recom­mended to partner with a company specializing in mak­ing surveillance equipment. No one is more invested in making sure their equipment does not fail than the manufacturer. So, employing them can easily guarantee reliable surveillance systems.

As mentioned earlier, train tunnels are of strategic importance, and any accidents that do occur are severe. This makes train tunnels ideal targets for terrorist at­tacks. The best way to ensure that train tunnels are se­cure is by choosing a security company that specializes in manufacturing surveillance equipment that can pro­actively detect and alert authorities. For example, choos­ing a security company that produces NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act- USA) compliant cameras with advanced security features like HTTPS, 802.1X, Brute force protection, EAP-MD5, and EAP-PEAP ensures that the equipment is less prone to vulnerabilities.

Train tunnels are crucial, and the benefits they pro­vide far outweigh the risks they possess. Since train tun­nels are unavoidable, everything must be done to ensure security. This is precisely why cutting-edge surveillance tech is required to monitor train tunnels. They provide much-needed light in the tunnels and ensure safety at all times.

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