IP Video Chosen For Large-Scale Rail Network Upgrade In United Kingdom

Integrated IP video technology has been deployed as part of a massive CCTV central monitoring and recording project for First Capital Connect (FCC), one of the UK’s newest train operating companies.

FCC operates trains between London, Brighton, Bedford, Peterborough, Cambridge and King's Lynn over the UK's busiest rail network. As part of its five year, $15 million, network-wide Station Improvements Program, FCC selected IndigoVision and its partner ATEC Security to install a new IP-based video surveillance, recording and transmission system. The project involved the upgrade to 1,194 existing analog CCTV cameras across 63 train stations, which are now all monitored at a new central control room at Enfield, using the company’s existing network infrastructure.

The challenge was to bring together the various local and independently monitored analog CCTV systems in order to monitor and manage them centrally. In addition the existing CCTV systems had to be fully operational while the new IP-based solution was installed. IndigoVision’s advanced compression and bandwidth management technology were vital for the success of a project of this size. Multiple video streams from each camera can be configured for different applications, for example, high-framerate/high-bandwidth for recording and local viewing and low bandwidth for remote monitoring over the WAN.

‘Control Center’, IndigoVision’s enterprise IP video and alarm management software, is used by operators, both locally and in the central control room to view and analyze live and recorded video. A ‘Control Center’ workstation can be located at any point on the network and allow an operator with the right permissions to view video from any camera or NVR no matter where they are located. As ‘Control Center’ software is license-free, workstations can be deployed for no more than the cost of an entry-level PC.

Thanks to extensive research and development by ATEC Security, a new server platform enabled over 100 IndigoVision Windows-based NVRs to be installed at the 63 train stations and throughout the network, providing 31 days of recording using a total of 473 terabytes of RAID 5 storage. Special server configurations were developed that allowed physical discs to be quickly and safely replaced in the event of a major incident, where the very highest quality evidential video is required for analysis and investigation by the police and other agencies.

More than 947 fixed and 95 PTZ cameras are each connected to an IndigoVision 8000 IP Video transmitter/receiver module. The 8000 converts the analog camera feed to DVD quality MPEG-4 digital video for transmission over the network. IndigoVision’s compression technology allows high-quality, low-latency video to be transmitted around the network using FCC’s existing WAN. The combination of the network and ‘Control Center’ creates a virtual matrix that allows video feeds to be ‘switched’ to any workstation or NVR. This replaces the many original local analog hardware matrices and removes the ‘islands of video’ that have come to represent the fundamental shortcoming of large scale analog CCTV systems.

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