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Flir ITS-series rail thermal cameras installed to enhance rail safety

Infrabel, a Belgian rail infrastructure management company, installed 30 FLIR ITS-Series Rail thermal cameras to enhance safety. Railway operators at Infrabel can now detect people on tracks with 99% accuracy which consequently prevents accidents and damages to the infrastructure.

In Brussels, the North-South connection railway is travelled by 1,200 trains every day over six tracks, making it the busiest line in Belgium. Trespassing incidents across the line caused 139,650 minutes of delays in 2018 which put a significant strain on the Belgian railway network, and therefore Infrabel’s daily rail operations.

The company chose FLIR ITS-Series Rail thermal cameras to look for trespassers inside the North-South railway tunnels, with a demanding requirement of 99% detection accuracy. FLIR cameras have been able to achieve this requirement and are already proving their value in terms of accident prevention and train standstill reductions.

FLIR ITS-Series Rail cameras ensure 24/7 detection, pick up heat signatures from people entering tunnels, and use smart algorithms to accurately detect people without being triggered by unwanted objects like small animals or passing trains.

“In contrast to other technologies, there is an invaluable visual component,” said Stefaan Vernieuwe, Project Manager at Infrabel’s ITC Division. “Thermal imaging actually shows you what is going on at the time of detection. This allows control room operators to better assess the situation in real time and decide whether a scenario needs to be activated or not. The generated thermal video can also be used for incident analysis afterwards.”

“Our thermal imaging solution can accurately detect trespassers in the dark, over a long range, and even in the most difficult weather conditions,” said Werner Feliz, International Business Development Manager at FLIR Systems. “The accuracy is due the system’s configurability and the intelligence built directly into the camera. This allows railway operators to more quickly identify and prevent issues which in turn improves safety, reduces delays, and decreases costs.”


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