High-Speed Rail Bears No Deviation
a&s China2011/2/16

China’s high-speed rail market is red-hot, with estimates putting it at US$270 billion. A&S finds out from local experts what is ahead. As China becomes a superpower, more overseas companies are willing to invest a great deal of money. The prosperous Chinese economy is driven by mushrooming infrastructure projects, including high-speed rail.

China's high-speed rail market is red-hot, with estimates putting it at US$270 billion. A&S finds out from local experts what is ahead.

As China becomes a superpower, more overseas companies are willing to invest a great deal of money. The prosperous Chinese economy is driven by mushrooming infrastructure projects, including high-speed rail.

The Ministry of Railways plans to lay more than 80,000 miles of high-speed railway track, which is predicted to exceed US$270 billion. This staggering sum includes physical security, which will account for more than $450 million. Robust market opportunities are why security players from around the world are making their way to China.

Promising Land
Chinese railway regulations mandate video surveillance, along with outlining specific criteria. Surveillance equipment must be networked and use IP transmission. This enables railway teamwork and information exchange through a complete communication system. Surveillance is deployed to monitor stops, tunnels and transfer stations along the tracks, so unexpected incidents or emergency calls can receive timely and appropriate responses.

In the past, video surveillance worked alone without an integrated system to facilitate railway communications. Today's integrated systems cover telecommunications, signal processing, railway electrification and onboard power supply in China, so vendors must be capable of delivering all four to bid in projects. Railway security encompasses train dispatch, system check-ups, fire safety and customer service.

Chinese high-speed railways are expected to stretch more than 80,000 miles by 2012, making the camera market worth more than $390 million. Coupled with access control and intrusion systems, the market for high-speed rail will reach $450 million.

No Room for Derailments
Safe travel and smooth traffic flow are top concerns for high-speed rail. Video surveillance typically watches over remote power plants and communication centers, where staff are not available around the clock. Communications for train dispatches, emergency calls and accident reports benefit from instantly captured images. Tools enable faster response, such as surveillance cameras, video content analysis, public address and control centers. An integrated security network guarantees passenger safety and railway security.

Remote monitoring and authorized access to footage are critical factors for high-speed railways. With miles of tracks surrounding Chinese megacities, video management is important for operators to effectively and efficiently monitor travelling conditions.

Security management software not only control inputs from surveillance cameras, access control readers or controllers, but should also manage traffic flow and operations. The system should account for

future-proof features, which requires flexible central management software (CMS). System installers will need to understand both physical security and networking to address the CMS trend.

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Barriers to Market
As railway regulations are stringent, very few system integrators or installers are qualified to win security bids. The time is ripe for enhanced partnerships and cooperation with manufacturers. With rail-approved or certified security equipment, manufacturers can approach recognized integrators for increased business opportunities.

Robust Products
As high-speed railways travels between locations where weather conditions may differ greatly, security equipment should be weatherproof in design. In addition, most railway tracks and stations are located at the outskirts of urban areas for safety reasons, making them remote and hard to monitor. Security providers provide robust solutions that can flexibly be deployed for different environments.

Video surveillance used for high-speed rail is largely installed outdoors. Cameras must withstand all weather conditions, such as extreme temperature fluctuations, lightning or strong winds. Cameras that can compensate for vibration and adjust to different environments are ideal for railway applications.

Physical security equipment deployed by railways should last from five to eight years. Trains make long-distance trips between far-flung locations, requiring aftersales service and maintenance to overcome geographical barriers. Product reliability is essential for railway decision makers.

Surveillance systems that are fixed should be tightly fastened, stable and vibration-proof. It will lead to undesired disaster, if screws securing the cameras fall on the tracks and derail the trains. Chinese authorities have enforced system integration and installation, preventing fatal accidents from ruining the comfort and convenience of high-speed railway.

Messe Frankfurt New Era Business Media Ltd. All rights reserved. 2016/9/27