Cutting-edge CCTV level crossing surveillance system for Network Rail

Author : Darren Saxby | Engineering Services Sales Manager | Amplicon

01 May 2021

Amplicon_TEW-Plus_rail case study
Amplicon_TEW-Plus_rail case study

Leading telecommunications & security systems integrator for transportation & commercial markets, TEW Plus has worked in the rail industry for decades. Following a recommendation from a large rail construction company, TEW Plus approached industrial computing & engineering specialist, Amplicon, based on its proven track record in providing rugged, reliable & repeatable computing solutions.

The full version of this case study was originally featured in the May 2021 issue of EPDT magazine [read the digital issue]. Sign up to receive your own copy each month.

Darren Saxby, Engineering Services Sales Manager at Amplicon tells the story…

TEW Plus had been working with Network Rail over the last five years to design and develop a CCTV (closed-circuit television) level crossing surveillance system. This system forms an integral part of the Network Rail level crossing obstacle detection upgrade project, which provides automated scanning and detection of obstacles within the level crossing area, using radar (radio detection and ranging) and LiDAR (light detection and ranging) technology.

The requirement
The TEW Plus CCTV and LiDAR equipment are designed to detect and record all obstacles present within the crossing boundary. The LiDAR equipment is the complementary obstacle detector for the MCB-OD (manually controlled barriers with obstacle detection) crossing and is used to detect objects on the ground and around the inside edge of the barriers. The CCTV system is predominantly designed to record a visual overview of the crossing, to allow the retrospective review of any incident, although it also records the LiDAR data stream, which can be played back in sync with the video.

At every installation, an embedded PC (a microprocessor-based personal computer) was required to process, control and record data from various devices. Each PC needed a large amount of data storage for recording the 16 video inputs, and the system had a powerful central processing unit (CPU) to handle both CCTV recordings and data streams from up to 8 LiDAR devices. The PC also connects to the radar and site data logger, providing a remote maintenance interface to these devices.

The PC also has a number of input/output interfaces, enabling the possibility of remote activation of relays at the level crossing, and providing a video overlay data log of any connected relays.

As well as the PC meeting the technical specification required, it needed to work  in some tough environmental conditions, being located within Network Rail buildings and cabinets close to the trackside. Also, with a planned upgrade to level crossings across the UK happening over a 4-5 year period, it was very important that the same design could be replicated during the rollout stage and be supported for the duration of the contract...

Read the full article in EPDT's May 2021 digital issue...

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