UK: Northern Installs Real-Time Data Collection Tech on ‘Intelligent Train’

Northern has completed its first ‘Intelligent Train,’ installing lidar horizon scanning cameras, a radar dome, 180-degree thermal imaging software, acoustic monitors, a G-Shock Bogie and an AI camera on a Class 150 unit.

This unit is one of Northern’s fleet of 345 trains that will be equipped with the new technology. These upgrades are designed to make journeys safer and more efficient by providing real-time data and predictive maintenance capabilities.

Lidar stands for ‘laser imaging, detection and ranging’, and the technology is used in a wide range of applications such as advanced driver-assistance systems on cars. It’s also the technology NASA used to map the surface of the moon.

Northern Intelligent Train
Northern completed this achievement in time for National Engineering Day on 2 November

The refitted vehicle will operate as a ‘proof of concept’ train serving destinations across the Northern network, including Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Yorkshire, for the next three months.

Data captured during this trial will inform the roll-out of the Intelligent Trains programme, which is being delivered in partnership with Network Rail, Belvoir Rail, Yellow Rail and Modux.

Jack Commandeur, Engineering Director at Northern said:

“This is an exciting moment for all of us here at Northern. Our ‘Intelligent Trains’ won’t just travel the network, they will actively monitor and report back on issues that could have an impact on our operation.

“The result will be greater efficiencies in terms of resource allocation, faster responses in terms of maintenance programmes and an overall smarter – and safer - way of working.”

The ‘Intelligent Trains’ makeover took place at Northern’s TrainCare Centre in Newton Heath, Greater Manchester.

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