FREIGHT operator Direct Rail Services is undertaking trials using train-mounted Sonitrol CCTV cameras to catch vandals. If the tests are successful, other companies may adopt the scheme. In 1999-2000, malicious acts caused 55% of reportable ’train incidents’ in Britain. As well as endangering lives, this cost the industry over £250m.

Two cameras, focusing on bridges, are to be fitted to the front of trains. One camera will pick up suspects over 100m away, the other will record at a closer range. Further cameras at the rear will detect criminals looking from the other side of the bridge to see what damage they caused.

Drivers can either switch the cameras on when required or run them continuously. The images produced are stored on a hard disk for later analysis, and digital images can be sent immediately by mobile phone if required.

Sonitrol, Great Britain

Reader Enquiry Number 136