by Garry Taylor, Operations Manager – Australia, Armitage Group

In the moment of rail trespass, what technology exists to provide immediate detection and enable rapid intervention?

Certain places and circumstances contribute to rail trespass, where ease of access to a particular location may influence the likelihood of an incursion. Various studies have recommended a focus on limiting access to rail infrastructure, with an elimination approach involving an increase of physical barriers.

However, what can be done in the precise moment of incursion – that critical time during and just after unauthorised entry?

Technology has evolved to a point where thermal imaging and video detection can be used to provide an automated detection system for rail infrastructure.

Deployed in strategic locations, automatic detection cameras can create a network of virtual IT fencing, providing accurate trespass detection and automatic notification, regardless of physical observation, shift changes, time of day, or lighting.

Physical intervention response times will vary depending on availability and response distances, which highlights the importance of minimising detection and notification times, where the initiation of early warning measures can alert oncoming trains to take preventative action as soon as possible.

The additional integration of a public announcement system to communicate that the area is being monitored could also act as a deterrent and persuade people to leave a place of danger.

In combination, thermal imaging with integrated detection technology is a proven and cost-effective measure in preventing rail trespass, enabling rapid intervention, minimising disruption, and lessening social and economic impacts.

This partner content is brought to you by Armitage Group. For more information, please visit

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