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Providing Public Transit Passengers with Peace of Mind

In order to increase ridership and passenger safety in overcrowded mass transit systems, major metro stations around the world are installing sophisticated IP video surveillance systems and communication devices.


Stockholm LokalTrafik

Stockholm LokalTrafik (SL), which is responsible for operating the metros, buses and trains in Stockholm, Sweden, has converged multiple systems over an IP network to increase security. With a vision for the people of Stockholm to choose public transit over cars, it is the mission of SL to develop and find new solutions for the public transportation system that meets passenger needs for a simple, reliable, cost-effective, safe and secure journey. SL has a comprehensive public transit system with approximately 100 train stations and more than 2,100 buses.

Vandalism on buses and in train stations as well as robberies of transit drivers was causing passenger safety concerns. As a result, ridership was not meeting targets. SL was looking for a solution that would deter these types of activities, provide police with evidence of crimes and convince the people of Stockholm that public transit is a convenient and safe alternative to driving.

"We are talking about day-to-day violence, the robbery of drivers, fist fights. We need to record those events to provide the police with the possibility of identifying the person who is violating the law," said Lennart Jangalv, CEO Stockholm LokalTrafic. The goals of deploying the new system are to minimize the number of robberies and attacks, provide police with evidence of crimes, reduce vandalism, reduce injuries and deaths, shorten response times to alarms, minimize false alarms, and minimize public transit disruption.

One Common System

The vision of SL was to have one common system for all video and safety alarms. Visual Defence provided SL with its Command and Control Center (3C) and Video and Event Manager software platform for the system core. The system needed to be able to integrate with existing cameras and security subsystems as well as provide flexibility and scalability to handle future requirements. In train stations, video surveillance is done by both analog and digital cameras from a number of different suppliers.

Images from each of the more than 2,500 station cameras are transmitted over an IP network to the 3C server system. As an open-architecture platform, the 3C also provides SL with a single point of management for all subsystems and edge devices including video analytics, fire alarm, intrusion detection, access control, IP intercom help phone, driver alarms, scheduling (PubTrans), trouble ticketing (HIT) and mobile digital video storage for approximately 10,000 cameras on 2,100 buses.

"The 3C software handles the complex environment of the camera system. It is integrated with safety alarms so that when an alarm occurs, we can connect the right camera to the alarm," said Henrik Virro, Project Manager, Stockholm LokalTrafic.

System Convergence, Alarms and Operator Workflow

3C converges SL systems with varying levels of integration depending on requirements. The video analytic system, designed to help reduce vandalism on tracks, is partially integrated to allow the 3C to receive alarms. When the video analytic system detects someone on the tracks, an alarm is generated and displayed on the 3C. The HIT system is integrated bidirectionally, while the fire alarm system will be a full open process control (OPC) integration, allowing 3C to receive events from the fire alarm system.

When SL operators acknowledge events generated in the 3C, they are presented with step-by-step instructions for responding. Operator instructions are the output of the 3C's unique workflow tool, which allows SL to easily define the specific rules that security operation personnel must follow, using flowcharts. Rules can include both automatic and manual activities. For example, the system can be configured to automatically start recording if a certain event occurs, but can also include a manual response from the operator to verify event status.

The bus solution incorporates more than 10,000 cameras. Each bus will be installed with five IP cameras and one Visual Defence Mobile Digital Video Storage System (DVSSm). The DVSSm acts as a mobile video recorder and streamer, working in conjunction with network cameras to provide high image quality. For bus events, video is tagged by the central monitoring station and downloaded into the 3C system through a WiFi connection when the bus enters a depot.

Return on Investment

According to Jangalv, the reasons for investing in these technologies are clear. "We believe that this solution will help with cash flow. If people are scared to come on to SL buses and trains because of violence, we lose passengers and ticket revenue. We need to provide our passengers with journeys where they know that violence is detected."

St. Pancras International

Controlware Communications recently provided an IP CCTV solution for St. Pancras International as part of the station's refurbishment for the High Speed 1 (HS1), one of the U.K.'s biggest construction projects, formally known as the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL). Working with the Costain, O'Rourke, Bachy and Emcor Rail (CORBER) consortium and Rail Link Engineering (RLE), Controlware provided the technical design, products, integration, commissioning and operator training services for a new 450-camera surveillance solution.

Refurbishment and extension of St Pancras International is part of HS1, Britain's first major rail project in over a century. The lead organization behind HS1 is London & Continental Railways. Following completion of the 79-kilometer first section of track in 2003, the second section of HS1 extends the track a further 39 kilometers to St. Pancras International at a cost of US$6.5 million. Extension of the HS1 to St. Pancras will make it possible to run twice the number of Eurostar trains to Paris, Brussels and Lille at peak times.

When the line opens on time and within budget on Nov. 14, high-speed connections from London to Paris will take two hours and 15 minutes; getting from London to Brussels will be accomplished in well under two hours. Increase in traffic will make St. Pancras International and next-door King's Cross one of Europe's busiest passenger interchanges, with over 50 million passengers using the station each year.

It has always been London & Continental Railways' aim to make every station along HS1 among the safest of all stations. To provide staff, customers and visitors to St. Pancras with the highest levels of reassurance, CORBER required a CCTV solution to meet the highest levels of operational functionality and resilience for recorded video images. Integration with the central Station Control System (SCS) and other security subsystems for alarm verification, incident handling and provision of general management information was also highly important.

The technical solution had to support 24-hour surveillance of internal and external station areas from 450 cameras in both background and real-time recording modes over 31 days. When it came to the tender stage, Controlware Communications was asked to participate. As specialist suppliers of IP CCTV solutions and services with more than 25 years of experience in communication networking, Controlware quickly realized that an advanced solution was required to deliver the features and level of integration that CORBER required. Given that there was no existing network, Controlware proposed a brand-new digital solution and won the contract on the basis of its technical solution, integration expertise and proven ability to deliver large projects successfully.

The technical solution includes a mixture of static and dome cameras, IP codecs, network storage and an advanced management platform. Controlware had no hesitation about working with the leading IP playerBosch Security Specialist Dealer (BSSD)as it had worked with the company and its product range for over nine years. Bosch Security products included Videojet 8008 and VIP-X transmission codecs, network video recorders (NVR), RAID storage and VIDOS management. Together, these products form the basis of an integrated IP CCTV solution that delivers high-quality video transmission, management and storage for St. Pancras International.


The St. Pancras surveillance network is a large solution and, as such, the project is dynamic and constantly evolving. Planning, staging and preparation took about one month, but physical installation of the solution has been timed to coincide with the opening of the station over its two phases. The first phase involved opening of the Midland Main Line (MML) to enable fast domestic rail connections to the Midlands. Work began on the CCTV system in April 2006 and was completed in time for the reopening of the MML platforms in June 2006.

The second and final phase involves opening of the station for the Eurostar lines that will enable high-speed international links to extend from Europe into London. Work for installation and integration of the remainder of the CCTV solution has been ongoing since July 2006, and is scheduled for completion by June/ July 2007 in time for the official opening Nov. 14.

Berlin S-Bahn

IP video system manufacturer IndigoVision is providing the technology behind a new train dispatch system that improves passenger safety and speeds operations for the Berlin S-Bahn. The S-Bahn is a metro system that transports around 1.3 million passengers a day across a network consisting of 16 lines and 165 stations. This innovative IP video system allows train drivers to safely manage train dispatch via a CCTV display in the cab.

IndigoVision's IP video technology was chosen following a rigorous competitive analysis. This was followed by installation of a pilot system using 24 cameras across six stations, which was successfully completed over a further six-month period. The next stage will be to install a further 88 cameras in an additional 22 stations. In time, management at the Berlin S-Bahn hopes to deploy the system across its entire network of 165 stations and stopping points.

The system is part of an IP communication and passenger information system installed by Alcatel-Lucent. IndigoVision was chosen for this prestigious project because it met a stringent set of criteria. Even though the pilot was small, the system had to be fully scalable to meet future expansion plans, which could mean over 2,000 cameras monitoring 330 platforms across the entire rail network. Flexible video recording was also critical as was ability to integrate alarm handling with video management, all of which is handled by IndigoVision NVRs and Control Center software.

In a typical station, four fixed CCTV cameras are placed on each side of the track to monitor the platform and train doors. These four cameras are then connected to a quad-split unit to produce a single four-way video image, which is connected to an IndigoVision 8000 transmitter unit. The 8000 converts analog signals into high-quality digital video streams4SIF at 25 frames per secondfor transmission over the IP network. Video is also transmitted using a wireless LAN to a display in the train cab where the driver can monitor passenger movements and ensure that doors are closed before departure.

Control Center, IndigoVision's enterprise video and alarm management software, is used by operators in control rooms located in larger stations to monitor platform images. Video streams are transmitted using multicast technology that allows any Control Center workstation to view live and recorded video from any platform camera at any station or stopping point on the rail network. IndigoVision's Control Center software architecture allows the user to install as many operator workstations as required for no more than the cost of a PC. This will have a major impact on reducing costs as the system expandsanother reason why IndigoVision was chosen for the project.

Built-in motion analytics in IndigoVision 8000 transmitters is used to trigger alarms when trains arrive at stations by detecting motion in three quarters of quad-split images. Alarms are used to update an interactive rail network status map displayed on Control Center workstations and provide real-time control of video recording.

Video recording is achieved using IndigoVision's PC-based Window's Network Video Recorders (WinNVRs). Three WinNVRs were installed with the original pilot and a further four are planned for the next phase. NVRs, which can be installed at any point on the IP network, continuously record video from all platform cameras. Most recordings are deleted quickly, but recordings of train movements are archived for later analysis.

This recording scheme is managed by Control Center using the train arriving event triggered by the 8000's motion analytics. The recording demands, therefore, change throughout the day and throughout the network. The distributed nature of WinNVRs operating on IP networks means that recorded video from both larger central stations and smaller stopping points can easily be accommodated and be fully scaleable as system size increases.

London Underground

Commend International constructed intercoms for information and emergency calls on the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly tube lines and all other Metronet lines in the London Underground. Contact with London Unterground (LUL) was first made in around mid 2001. For Metronet lines, installation continued from May 2003 to July 2007 and for tube lines, from May 2005 to October 2008.

Requirements for Help Point intercoms in the London Underground are that all calls handled locally be forwarded to British Transport Police and regarded as emergency calls, as well as having voice message services for unanswered information calls. All devices need to have CCTV control integration, and conversations must be recorded on external DVRs.

Since the project kicked off, the vendor has met a special challenge: different standards have been used in different railway applications and security devices, including Electro-Maganetic Compatibility (EMC), BS EN 50121-4:2000 (EMC), BS EN 61000-3-2 (EMC), BS EN 61000-3-3 EMC, EN 60950, IP 65 environmental protection and EN 61373.

System Features

Special intercoms in help points are equipped with information and emergency buttons, fire alarm breakglass points and hearing aid loop amplifiers. After pushing the emergency button on the intercom station or help point, the emergency call arrives in the responsible control room. The picture of the corresponding CCTV camera is automatically switched onto the monitor in the control room. The passenger can hear a reassurance message until a member of the control staff answers the call. When a call is not answered within 10 seconds, it passes to the British Transport Police Incident Room.

Information calls are directed to a designated information bureau, such as the local Tourist Information Board, or a specific office within the mass transit network. Its fire alarm breakglass point is wired to the fire alarm system. Fire alarm overrides information and emergency calls.

System Advantages

The intercom integrates information calls, emergency calls and fire alarms in one system. G7-CNET-LAN cards are included for group station control. The intercom also deals with reporting and controlling functions and, because of its several interfaces, data from subsystems can be imported. Controlling instructions such as error reports for ticket machines, switching of lights and air conditioning, and integration of access control to secure areas can be forwarded to subsystems. The advantages are obviousall information is clearly displayed on one operating interface. (Isolectra Far East is the exclusive distributor for Commend's products in Asia.)

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