India’s Western Railway is one of the 17 zones of the country’s railway systems and is among the most-travelled rail networks in India. The Surat Railway Station, for example, is one of the busiest among the Western Railways where more than 160 trains pass each day. This segment of the railway network is headquartered in Baroda, now also known as Vadodara, a few hours south-east of Ahmedabad in Western India.
The railway has some 150 remote installations for the railway’s signalling systems. Located alongside the tracks about every 5 km, there is a battery hub that powers each of these standalone systems. Recently, in many places, the batteries have been stolen, causing train signals to malfunction, which threatens travellers’ security and leads to stoppage of the trains as personnel wait for confirmation of safety signals.
It is nearly impossible to secure all locations 24/7 by way of personnel alone. In many locations, chances of theft and damage seem to be inevitable. Jignesh Shah, system integrator for Mehulendra Corporation was called upon to stop the theft of the batteries. Major security concerns over human life, assets, and property loom, not the least of which is securing the battery system on which the signalling depends. Maintenance of the various systems at remote locations was also a significant concern.
Railway administrators wanted to monitor all sites at head office located in Baroda, and the standard solutions on the market – where CCTV and alarm systems are separate – could not meet their requirements for this project. Mehulendra, however, proposed Hikvision technology, demonstrating its all-in-one, integrated solution. More than that, since the after-sales service was an equally important consideration, Hikvision’s joint venture company in India, Hikvision-Prama, helped to secure this solution as the best one available.
What Shah and Mehulendra Corporation proposed was an Intrusion Monitoring System (IMS) for Railways. This would make use of Hikvision’s integrated security alarm system using the all-in-one Security Control Panel, a device that packs multiple features into one accessible unit. Basically, the security hardware needed at each signalling station included an integrated security control panel, video surveillance cameras, door alarm components, and a 4G SIM-based, four-port router. Finally, Hikvision’s video management platform would tie the operations together for personnel at the head office.
The control panel ties together intrusion detection, two-way audio, and mobile messaging; it can be managed remotely using an app on a connected mobile device. The panel can host up to four IP camera inputs and provides PTZ control as well. Hikvision’s 1.3 MP Fixed Dome Network Cameras were chosen for their 24/7 monitoring capabilities, including 30 metres of IR range for night time surveillance and on-board micro-SD card digital recording.
Doors at each station were wired with alarm contacts and connected to a 109 dB siren. Panic switches were also installed for personnel to use in emergencies. The internet router keeps the systems connected across the vast Indian landscape and enables the automated SMS messaging via mobile apps to alert nearby personnel of security needs.
After the successful completion of the pilot project (complete installation at one of the stations), the client was satisfied and gave the green light for installation in the remainder of railway locations. Timeline for the completion was one month. Since no major challenges stood in the way, MC was able to successfully complete the project as required.
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