The recent installation of an integrated video surveillance system at Wuxi East Railway Station in China is an excellent example of how video analytics can encompass security and people counting to help the railway sector introduce efficiencies and save lives.
The Wuxi East Railway Station is served by the 1,318-kilometer long Beijing–Shanghai high-speed railway, which is the busiest line in China and the world's longest high-speed line ever constructed in a single phase. More than 90 trains each day currently complete the journey, whilst there is the capacity for 220,000 passengers to travel on the railway each day.
The safety of staff and passengers is understandably considered to be of the highest priorities and a decision was made by the station’s senior management to invest in an integrated system that could take advantage of the latest advances in video surveillance and alarm technology.
A key requirement of the system was the ability to detect and create alerts should a member of the public attempt to enter a restricted area of the station or climb down onto the rail tracks.
A key requirement of the system was the ability to detect and create alerts should a member of the public attempt to enter a restricted area of the station or climb down onto the rail tracks. Despite the obvious danger of being struck by a train entering or leaving the station, there had been several situations where people had crossed the tracks since the high-speed line was officially opened in 2011.
In addition to security and safety requirements, it was also specified that the integrated system must be able to supply statistical data on the numbers and flow of passengers that enter the station.
Multi-tasking VCA analytics
VCA Technology in Wuxi won the contract to install the integrated system, which utilizes high definition IP network cameras with VCA analytics onboard. The power and flexibility of the VCA analytics engine is able to perform both security and people counting functions, using a single set of “rules” that reflects the operational requirements of the station.
The analytics enables security personnel to rapidly retrieve relevant images of any incidents with the help of user defined search criteria, instead of having to waste time reviewing what could be hundreds of hours of irrelevant video footage.
VCA analytics is also able to detect people who trespass into restricted areas. When these situations occur, the analytics has been configured to send SMS and email alerts to security personnel and station platform staff, as well as trigger audio warning messages over the station’s PA communication system.
If required, the analytics can also be used to carry out post event analysis of images captured by the station’s cameras, which are recorded onto network video recorders (NVRs). The analytics enables security personnel to rapidly retrieve relevant images of any incidents with the help of user defined search criteria, instead of having to waste time reviewing what could be hundreds of hours of irrelevant video footage.
VCA analytics is also being used in support of thermal imaging cameras which can be used to detect people who get too close to the rail tracks if the weather conditions, e.g., fog, prevent conventional video surveillance cameras from capturing clear images of any activity.
In addition to being at the heart of a solution which can potentially save lives and minimize disruption to the day-to-day running of the station, VCA analytics is also providing senior management with valuable business intelligence on how many people use the station at various times of the day and which areas are the busiest or become congested. The information can be presented in customizable reports that provide comparisons with previously collected data.
“There are so many elements of an integrated system that need to perform well in order to meet the demanding requirements of an important project such as this. It has been a major advantage that we have been able to single source the analytics required for security and people counting purposes,” said Bin Cheng of VCA’s Wuxi office. “In this respect, there is no doubt that VCA as a total analytics solution provider has played a significant role in helping the client achieve its objectives of creating a safe and operationally efficient station environment.”