Transportation: Rail


The world of transportation moves faster than ever before. When we discuss monitoring for secure environments in the context of transit, we need to expand the conversation on technology, opening our minds to all practical tools. We must progressively think and speak about capturing sound, giving audio monitoring its due, with the appropriate amount of attention as is deserving of a key sensory technology. Today, both audio and video should be valued for their unique contribution, and their interoperability, yet the present reality is that generally industry remains primarily focused on video systems.

Current Status

There are too many captured incidents that have affected our transit system’s dedication to zero incident and with the right technology, some of these incidents can be prevented. On December 2013, in the Bronx borough of New York: The operator of a Metro-North commuter train, traveling approximately three times the posted speed limit “zoned out” while approaching a dangerous turn. Four people were killed and more than 70 injured. The aftermath has created public outcry for more monitoring on our transportation systems. Recommendations from both Senators Charles Schumer of New York and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut directed the transit operators to install video and audio monitoring systems on all passenger trains. Using a network based two-way audio system along with video, transportation staff can:

Remotely interact with transportation employees or commuters in real time and monitor multiple zones, giving them auditory ‘triggers’ to focus on, allowing them to better identify situations in progress and quickly respond with verbal warnings or directions.

Audio monitoring assists in capturing a cause for alarm. It provides:

Secondary verification in the case that a primary video system is triggered to an emergency, security threat or other ‘out of ordinary’ situation. The security monitor can hear and then focus on the monitor that sees what is going on when audio is integrated into a full security system’s capability. The system operator can verify to the first responders that two sense points were triggered in the same situation.

Heightened activity sending an alarm can be activated based on audio feed captured by audio monitoring products.
A verified situation provides real-time confirmation of an incident via visual or audio monitoring and notifies of attempted unauthorized activity. This technology contributes to:

  • Reduced call-out to responders with information that values time, focus, and resources.
  • Reassuring transportation monitoring centers, that their assets are safe and secure.

Audio also helps strengthen vandal prevention, provide employee training, conduct day-to-day business and much more. For example,a regional transportation depot uses audio to monitor and verify activity in critical locations to increase security and productivity and to focus manpower attention. Recommendation: Offer this notion when discussing the conceptual design at the project table. More and more major public and private entities have utilized the power of audio for their security needs. Include audio as part of a total, integral part of the overall security solution.