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Railway Security Finally Coming into Its Own
The Editorial Team 2008/1/22

There were 206 attacks worldwide on trains and rails from 1979 to 2005. In 1980, a bomb killed 75 at a train station in Bologna, Italy. In 1995, eight were killed on a Paris train. In February 2004, two blasts near a Moscow subway killed 51 people, with another 191 dead a month later in Madrid. A series of coordinated suicide bombings on July 7, 2005 struck London's public transport system, killing 56 people and injuring 700. According to Rand Corp., there were a total of 181 terrorist attacks on trains and rail-related targets, such as stations, worldwide from 1998 to 2003, averaging 30 per year. What can security providers do to protect these facilities? The U.S. alone has more than 140,000 miles of track that carry millions of rail passengers every year and scores of freight trains hauling hazardous materials. There are also 19,391 light, commuter and heavy rail carriages in the U.S. (2006), 18,000 rail carriages in Germany (2005), 11,000 rail carriages in the U.K. and Ireland (2005) and 7,136 rail carriages in Austria and Switzerland (2005). A&S takes a closer look. There were 206 attacks worldwide on trains and rails from 1979 to 2005. In 1980, a bomb killed 75 at a train station in Bologna, Italy. In 1995, eight were killed on a Paris train. In February 2004, two blasts near a Moscow subway killed 51 people, with another 191 dead a month later in Madrid. A series of coordinated suicide bombings on July 7, 2005 struck London's public transport system, killing 56 people and injuring 700. According to Rand Corp., there were a total of 181 terrorist attacks on trains and rail-related targets, such as stations, worldwide from 1998 to 2003, averaging 30 per year. What can security providers do to protect these facilities? The U.S. alone has more than 140,000 miles of track that carry millions of rail passengers every year and scores of freight trains hauling hazardous materials. There are also 19,391 light, commuter and heavy rail carriages in the U.S. (2006), 18,000 rail carriages in Germany (2005), 11,000 rail carriages in the U.K. and Ireland (2005) and 7,136 rail carriages in Austria and Switzerland (2005). A&S takes a closer look.

The global market size of rail security industry is nearly US$10 billion for 2007, said Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Farheen Pasha. ¨I would say 53 percent of the market lies in the mature European rail industry, followed by the fast-growing APAC region (21 percent), NAFTA (15 percent) and other important markets like Russia, Egypt (the largest market in Africa), Ukraine and Turkey (11 percent).

According to IMS Research, reported Tony Jenkins , Vice President of March Networks' Transportation Division, the global market for mobile video surveillance equipment onboard trains and trams was worth $63.8 million in 2006. Furthermore, it is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.2 percent to $99.1 million in 2011. While Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) has been the ¨dominant market for video surveillance equipment onboard trains,〃 said the report, ¨the market will mature and saturate with new growth potential coming from China, India and the U.S.〃

The U.K. and Irel and will slow, due to fewer large projects coming online, but the Middle East and Africa will experience high compound annual growth. In addition, Germany, France and Eastern Europe will invest significantly in video surveillance equipment on trains and trams. Oceania is the largest market for video surveillance on trains and trams (29.6 percent of the Asia market). China will be the largest market by 2011, with the highest growth taking place in Japan.

The market for DVRs with hard disks will grow at a CAGR of 8.1 percent for the same period. Network cameras will account for nearly 29.2 percent of market revenues and 9.7 percent of unit shipments by 2011. In the Americas, camera sales are expected to grow faster than recorders with the prices of analog cameras falling more quickly by 2011. That said, network camera price declines will slow. In EMEA, network camera market share for trains and trams will increase from 8.6 percent to 15.3 percent (10.1 percent of unit shipments by 2011). In Asia, network cameras will account for 9.4 percent of revenue and 5 percent of unit shipments.

For video recording devices, IMS predicted the rate of growth will drop due to a maturing market. ¨The eight-channel market is forecast to remain slow,〃 the report stated. ¨The larger manufacturers in the EMEA are all supplying 12-channel and 16-channel recorders.〃 Eventually, they will introduce the same products in the Americas.

IMS Research: Verint Dominates the Sector

Traditional rail security solutions providers, said Pasha, have included Siemens, Kroll and Tyco. Today, however, new players are entering the fray worldwide. Some are rail equipment suppliers and integrators like Thales, ARINC, Alcatel, Bombardier, Faiveley and Alstom. Others are defense contractors like Lockheed Martin, network and IT companies like IBM, MiTAC and Cisco, and even construction companies like Bouygues, Vinci, Amco and Balfour Beatty.

In the mature and consolidated North American rail market as a whole, said Pasha, ¨GE and EMD hold major market share of locomotives. Bombardier, Alstom and Siemens are the next most important." For APAC, Bombardier, Alstom and Siemens hold around 28 percent of the market; Hitachi, Kawasaki and Mitsubishi are important in Japan; Rotem is the South Korean leader; Chinese players are gaining huge export orders; in Europe, Bombardier, Alstom and Siemens dominate.

For Bharat Singh, Head of Vertical Solutions at Honeywell India, the major players in India are Honeywell Security, GE Security, Bosch, Siemens and Tyco.

Jenkins reported that North America is ¨dominated by March Networks, which holds nearly 85 percent of the freight rail market; it also enjoys a major presence in the light-rail market through our partner Bombardier.〃 Bombardier produces an estimated 40 percent of the world's rolling stock, he said, allowing March Networks to grow its presence in Europe.

¨Verint is the exclusive global provider of a comprehensive rail security solution portfolio,〃 said Mariann McDonagh, Senior Vice President of Global Marketing for Verint. ¨Our Nextiva Transit solutions are currently deployed by hundreds of transit authorities across the world. This unparalleled real-world experience has provided us with the insight required to develop technologies and trusted integrator relationships that protect rail systems around the world.〃

According to IMS Research, Verint is the leading supplier of mobile video surveillance equipment in trains and trams with an estimated market share of 23.3 percent (2006). Of the top 10, seven companies are headquartered outside the U.S., with six of those seven in the U.K., France and Germany. In EMEA, Verint leads with an estimated market share of 26.5 percent. Verint entered the market via an acquisition of a German company, IMS said.

Decision Makers

When it comes to influencing the types of products and features, Pasha said, railway operators in charge of rail infrastructure and station modernization agencies are the key players. However, these responsibilities lie with different agencies in different countries.

In the U.S., Pasha said, allocation of budgets for rail security from federal and state governments, third-party grants and internal funds require federal and state approval, which take place in four-year time periods. ¨Actual procurement is done by the concerned department of the rail operator itself,〃 she said. Meanwhile, in Europe, each country has a separate agency in charge of station modernization.

All train operators, Jenkins said, are making use of rail security with consultants playing a key role in influencing specifications.

End users of rail security solutions, McDonagh said, are primarily municipal transit authorities responsible for protecting critical transportation infrastructure. ¨Proliferation of networked video solutions, however, is facilitating new levels of collaboration between transit authorities and law enforcement and government agencies. This increased cooperation is heavily influencing specifications of rail security solutions to ensure that security data can be easily distributed and shared with all parties working together to protect people property and assets.〃

The U.S. federal government is also identifying how equipment performs against a specific set of criteria without editorial comment, so buyers can look at the results and form their own opinion. Governments are moving to develop technological standards.

Core Technologies

Electronic rail security, Pasha said, makes use of the following products: video surveillance for incident detection and recording; access control to identify, track and supervise access; passenger information systems (PIS) on stations and trains consisting of customer communication systems; automatic vehicle location (AVL); IP train LAN backbones; public address and intercom systems, consisting of station controllers, visual passenger information, information kiosks for audio announcements and emergency intercoms; telephony and Wi-Fi for control ground and radio communications; sensors and actuators to identify incidents; assisted incident management and decision support; fire detection and control systems; intrusion detection systems; general alarm systems; and track, infra security and platform monitoring equipment.

For McDonagh, an effective rail transit security solution is made up of several key components: a robust networked video monitoring platform capable of integrating a variety of cameras, alarms and security sensors; sophisticated video analytic applications that extend effectiveness of limited security personnel; and advanced wireless technology to transmit video and security data from remote locations throughout the rail system to centralized monitoring centers.

Singh cited technologies like surveillance, access control with mechanical barriers, handheld metal detectors and unattended baggage detection (only in developed countries). ¨There is also use of wide-area surveillance, video analytic-based facial recognition, cost-effective and manageable bomb detection, smart card-based ticketing systems, and railway track tampering detection systems.

¨New rail security technologies are proliferating at a high speed,〃 Pasha said. ¨Growing R&D spending on rail security technologies from an increased number of solution providers is leading to more cost-effective solutions as well as more automated ones. This is increasing the quality and quantity of information processed as well as economizing on the need for human attention.〃

Pasha noted that wireless broadband communications is increasingly supplying high-quality, real-time video surveillance. Software is being developed to detect antisocial behavior, as vandalism and crime are major problems for rail agencies. ¨Video feeds of surveillance cameras are being analyzed through econometric models (video analytics),〃 she said.

In addition, she pointed to digital surveillance, which is being coupled with high-speed wireless monitoring, and blast containment measures (built or retrofitted) at stations and rail cars. Trials for millimeter wave detection are also going on in London and New York. Other technologies emerging for rail security are audio detection, facial recognition, object detection, and chemical, biological and explosive agent detection.

McDonagh reported increased placement of cameras inside rolling stock or rail cars. ¨Through advancements in our wireless data transmission technology, rail security organizations can now deploy analytic-embedded cameras and intelligent edge devices within passenger and cargo cars to proactively detect threats before they escalate. This is just another example of how vendors like Verint are increasing situational awareness for rail security organizations.〃

Railways Eyeing Video Analytics

¨In terms of new products for the rail security market, some of the most significant new solutions are in the area of video analytics,〃 McDonagh said. ¨Virtual trip wire analytics can monitor miles of unmanned tracks, tunnels and bridges, and alert security personnel to movement in secure areas where no activity should be taking place. Traffic flow analytics identifies unusual passenger behavior in rail stations and on passenger platforms to proactively prevent threats before they occur. Finally, left baggage analytics identifies abandoned objects or suspicious packages for further investigation.〃

Singh supported McDonagh's stance on the importance of video analytics, typically for unattended baggage. ¨For some applications, traffic flow through some specific paths needs to be estimated, but simply calculating enter and exit counts at entrances is not enough,〃 Singh said. ¨For example, 300 people may enter a railway station, with 200 going to the ticket counter and the other 100 going to the platform.〃 Counting zones are, therefore, being used in each target area, with the software detecting transitions from one counting zone to another. ¨This usually requires a very high camera view to cover a wide area with great visibility,〃 he said.

Integration: Name of the Game

Regardless of the technology, a crucial factor in successful operation is how well it can be integrated with other systems and technologies. ¨Operators are increasingly viewing rail security as a means to increasing customer confidence, as well as reducing operating costs,〃 Pasha said. ¨They are bundling security, safety, communications, rail control systems and other features into integrated rail solutions, and this is also increasing the need for open systems that will allow modularity and scalability in the future.〃

Pasha cited surveillance integrated with fire alarm systems and the passenger address and information systems to determine appropriate emergency response. These can be linked with passenger counting systems to enhance fare collection, provide head count in emergency evacuations and provide HVAC requirements.

Electronic security for geographically separated systems, Singh said, works well when integrated at least on the data sharing layer. ¨Integration enables advanced upgrades of security analysis, say for tracking of possible terrorists across any station connected to a rail route. Integrating surveillance systems at all the stations on a network can deliver this flexibility.〃

Step-up gradation of security systems is desirable in railway security environments as security for railways evolves. ¨Deployment in railway environments takes more time than any other transportation vertical,〃 Singh said. ¨The main reason is area of spread. Hence, an integrated security system with a clear upgrade path is the way to go.〃 Working upfront with both operators and train manufacturers is important in integrating video surveillance, Jenkins said. ¨Retrofits are more costly and labor-intensive for operators.〃

McDonagh believes enterpriseclass video management platforms built on recognized and open industry standards are the most effective tool for integrating data from security cameras, access control systems and other security sensors. ¨By integrating data from these siloed systems into one centralized monitoring platform, security personnel receive a comprehensive view of security threats for enhanced situational awareness and more effective response."

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