By this summer, a Sitrail ir track-to-train CCTV system developed by Siemens Industrial Projects & Systems should be in operation on all 106 new trains supplied to London Underground’s Northern line by Alstom. Platform-mounted digital video cameras transmit pictures via radiating tube transmitting antennae mounted along the length of each platform. Each cab has two colour LCD monitors, featuring flat screen Thin Film Transistor technology. One displays information from the train management system, the other a view of the platform when the train is in a station. CCTV signals are received by a pair of antennae at each end of the train.

Icore International has developed a fireproof, non-conductive hydraulic hose for use alongside third rail electrification. Made of PTFE with Kevlar overbraid and a Hytrel sheath, the hose was initially designed in conjunction with Smith Hydraulic Co Ltd for use with the Clamplock machine, which uses hydraulic rams to move point blades.

Eurostar (UK) Ltd has tested a System 2000 dry ice blaster from Clean Surface Ltd, using the unit to clean dust from power terminals, switchgear and voltage conversion systems within the common bloc of a Eurostar power car. Further trials will include a cost-benefit analysis to determine the long-term effect of dry ice on the performance of electrical insulation.

AEA Technology Rail has developed a Bridge Bash Monitor which faxes a warning to a control room when sensors detect that the bridge has been struck by an overheight road vehicle. Costing £10000 to £15000 for each side of a bridge, the system also allows remote inspection of the site by camera.

In accordance with Railtrack specifications, BICC Components has developed a modular cabling system for distributing power to point-heating strips. The system incorporates four- and eight-way distribution blocks with moulded-in eight core cables, obviating the need to terminate cables on site.

The Novatrack