Monitoring rail networks with thermal imaging

Thermal imaging cameras are in place over Melbourne’s rail network to improve safety and ensure a more reliable service for passengers.

Metro Trains have been using helicopters fitted with cameras and thermal imaging devices — and more recently drones — to observe the rail network during events including White Night, New Year’s Eve celebrations and the Spring Racing Carnival.

The cameras help deliver real-time information and intelligence to the train control centre where Metro works alongside police to improve responses to serious network disruptions and incidents.

By using this information Metro can make assessments about what sort of response is required and where, and confirm when tracks are clear to get trains moving and passengers on their way.

It is also used as a tool to detect trespassing on the network – as well as incidents of graffiti and criminal damage to rail equipment which all cause disruptions to services.

Intelligence sourced from the cameras is provided to Victoria Police to support ongoing investigations.

Victorian Minister for Public Transport, Jacinta Allan, said drones are another tool to better respond to disruptions and catch the criminals who seek to deface the network.

“With Melbourne’s massive events calendar, it’s important to make we’re sure doing everything we can to get people where they need to go, safer and sooner.

“This is all about making sure our passengers can get to and from Melbourne’s major events quickly and safely.”

During major spring events, Metro and Victoria Police will be ensuring the public transport network is running as efficiently and as safely as possible for those who rely on it.

There are more than 9,000 CCTV cameras at stations and in trains, and a dedicated security and surveillance team tracking criminals.

Metro spends $10 million annually to fight graffiti and vandalism on the network.

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