Industry professionals from across the UK recently attended a Samsung Techwin seminar held at Pickering Station (part of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway) to learn about the latest open platform video surveillance technology now available to the rail sector. Brian Sims reports.
All delegates attending on the day are involved in the railway sector’s supply chain and were thus the perfect audience for the formal announcement that Samsung Techwin Europe’s cameras, domes, recorders and Ethernet switches forming its complete IP network video surveillance range have been approved for use within Network Rail’s infrastructure.
The PADS Certificate of Acceptance follows a process during which the Samsung Techwin Europe video surveillance products were evaluated and comprehensively tested to ensure that they’re wholly reliable, fit for purpose and duly comply with Network Rail’s demanding standards in respect of safety issues.
Simon Shawley (director for Northern Europe at the Security Solutions division of Samsung Techwin Europe) proudly told members of the audience that obtaining PADS approval represents a significant landmark for the business.
Shawley explained: “PADS approval means that consultants, system designers and specifiers can include our products in their proposals and be confident that they’ll be acceptable to Network Rail’s project managers. The rail sector offers significant new business opportunities for installers and systems integrators, and we’re therefore very pleased that we can now offer high performance video surveillance solutions which, as well as being robust and reliable, will meet the safety requirements of security projects within the Network Rail infrastructure.”
Shawley’s view was robustly supported by James Smith, sales and marketing director at the Quadrant Security Group. “Many of the projects with which we’re involved have specific compliance demands attached to them so as to ensure the high quality operation of systems in what are often complex and mission-critical environments,” outlined Smith. “However, the nature of these environments can make it hard for our vendor partners to innovate as the barriers may be high. ‘Tried-and-tested’ and the status quo might be see as the easy options with which to continue. It’s therefore great to see the investment that Samsung Techwin has made in obtaining PADS approval for its IP cameras in order to meet Network Rail’s demanding requirements.”
Smith also stated: “This development will undoubtedly lead to innovation on the rail network as the industry looks to benefit from the further deployment of network technology. It also opens up a host of possibilities for enhanced interoperability and efficiencies.”
Among the products approved by Network Rail are Samsung Techwin’s open platform WiseNetIII HD megapixel cameras. These offer end users the option of running multiple applications such as video analytics, facial recognition, people counting and ANPR which can be downloaded to cameras in a similar way that you would add Apps to a smart phone.
Importantly, the PADS Certificate of Acceptance issued by Network Rail also provides approval for a number of Samsung Techwin’s analogue cameras and DVRs.
Opportunity for business networking
The Samsung Techwin seminar was conducted inside the Learning Centre at Pickering Station. This is the flagship station and headquarters of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway which last year celebrated its 40th Anniversary as a fully operational heritage railway.
The railway was formed in 1967 when founder members met with the aim of reopening the Grosmont to Pickering line both as a tourist steam railway and to preserve the rail link to Goathland, the roads to which were prone to being blocked by snow during winter months.
Today, the North Yorkshire Moors Railway carries around a third of a million passengers each year and operates on 270 days of every year, running between eight and 20 trains per day while relying on over 400 volunteers and more than 100 paid staff to maintain the service.
After a brief presentation on the railway by Philip Benham (general manager of North Yorkshire Moors Railway), who explained the history of the railway and its plans for the future, attendees had the opportunity to network with colleagues before preparing to board the ‘Samsung Techwin Express’ which departed from Pickering Station for a return journey to Grosmont through the picturesque Yorkshire countryside.
Travelling with the aid of the A4 class locomotive Sir Nigel Gresley is a rare opportunity. This is one of only a small number of working models in the world. The train is the sister to the Mallard which, back in 1938, achieved a speed of 126 mph and, in so doing, set a world speed record which still stands today.
Keeping steam locomotives on the rails comes at a hefty price, not to mention the other areas of maintenance and restoration on the railway that relies so heavily on public donations. With this is mind, attendees were invited to provide a donation as a ‘Thank You’ to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway for helping organise such a brilliant day. Over £700 was raised.
Demanding surveillance conditions on rail networks
Pickering Station proved to be the perfect venue for the seminar and for Samsung Techwin to be able to demonstrate how the latest generation of HD cameras can cope with the demanding conditions often experienced at railway stations and on board trains.
Samsung Techwin’s WiseNetIII cameras and domes had previously been installed on the platforms of Pickering Station as part of an overall programme of improving security for North Yorkshire Moors Railway’s facilities following a major theft last year which saw the loss of valuable steam engine parts.
“The burglary was a major blow to us,” said Philip Benham. “It delayed bringing back into service one of our highly-prized locomotives as the stolen parts were difficult and expensive to replace. We immediately took advice on how we could improve our security and, in particular, how best to use CCTV to deter and detect crime, as well as ensure that all our customers are safe and secure while visiting our stations and travelling on board our trains.”
Benham and his colleagues considered proposals from a number of manufacturers but, following an onsite demonstration, decided to single-source all of the required security cameras and video recording equipment from Samsung Techwin.
“We were massively impressed by the quality of the images that the Samsung Techwin cameras were able to capture,” asserted Benham. “Having an onsite demonstration meant we could see exactly what we should expect if we permanently installed the cameras. Our station is not that large and so the good news from a cost perspective was that we only needed a total of six cameras to cover all areas. This was helped by the fact that one of the cameras recommended by Samsung Techwin’s pre-sales support team was the company’s SNF-7010 360 degree HD model. This is able to cover a whole area where a much larger number of standard cameras might normally be required to avoid any blind spots.”
Deterring and detecting anti-social and criminal activity
“Apart from the fact that they work within the rail sector, many of our guests are train enthusiasts and so we’re delighted that they were able to enjoy their time on the Samsung Techwin Express,” said Diane Cooper, head of business development management at Samsung Techwin Europe for the UK, Ireland, Benelux countries and the Nordics.
“The feedback from the guests was very positive. They very much enjoyed the day and, in this respect, we’re grateful to Philip Benham and his colleagues for their efforts towards helping us make our event so successful. Of course, we’re also very pleased that our cameras and video recording equipment installed at Pickering Station are helping the railway achieve its objective of deterring and detecting anti-social and criminal activity.”
Commenting on the event’s success, Paul Wood (fleet manager for First Hull Trains) said: “Samsung Techwin Europe should be congratulated on organising a first class event which was both educational and enjoyable. Achieving PADS approval for its cameras is a big step forward for the company. Together with the fact that I was able to see at first hand the excellent quality images that the cameras can produce, this experience has given me the incentive to want to evaluate potential deployment by First Hull Trains.”
Wood’s satisfaction at a day well spent was echoed by Ruth Venn, business development manager for the rail division of Optilan UK, who enthused: “Samsung Techwin Europe hosted an excellent day which not only introduced to the market its PADS-approved cameras, but also provided great networking opportunities and allowed Optilan to promote its position as a Samsung Smart Partner.”
*Samsung Techwin is now offering all rail industry professionals the opportunity to view a demonstration of PADS-approved video surveillance solutions at its European Headquarters in Weybridge. Register your interest in a demonstration