Drones keep trains moving for racegoers

Metro Trains, in partnership with Victoria Police, have used new drone technology for the first time to monitor train networks across the Flemington line, including the extra 1000 services during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

A new mobile CCTV trailer, complete with thermal night-time imaging to target vandals and trespassers, was also used along the Flemington Racecourse line during the Carnival.

The CCTV trailer included a six-metre mast, which carries a zoomable camera as well as a thermal imaging camera, providing clear vision at night or in areas with little or no light.

Both technologies help reduce the impact of train and track faults across the network, getting trains and passengers moving as quickly as possible.

The drones, which can be called upon at a moment’s notice, gave Metro Trains’ Control Centre staff the best view of the train network, complementing the 9,000 CCTV cameras already in place across Melbourne.

The Racing Carnival is the first time Metro Trains have been able to use the drone technology and 10 specially trained pilots working across its network.

The vision was monitored by Victoria Police and Metro Trains security staff who were able to act quickly if any infrastructure issues or security incidents presented themselves.

Minister for Public Transport, Melissa Horne, said using the drone technology helped essential services gain the best possible view of the train network, especially across the Racing Carnival which carries more than half of the 300,000 racegoers who flock to Flemington for the celebrations.

“We’re always working with our public transport operators to use new technologies that allow us to react quickly to anything that may occur anywhere on the train network,” Ms Horne said.

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