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Nottingham Express Transit (NET) that runs the city’s trams now has video surveillance cameras at every tram stop, each park and ride site and on every tram.
In 2014 NET sought to more than double their light rail network in Nottingham by adding southern and western extensions and new park and ride sites. The extensions involved laying 17.5km of new track for a total of 35km, the addition of 27 stops making a total of 51 and the purchase of 22 new trams, making 37 in total. NET expects to see 20 million passenger journeys each year, with 55,000 of these regular commuters.
NET required new video surveillance equipment besides an upgrade to the existing system so that HD standards could be maintained on a single platform. For this upgrade, a contract was awarded to Inside Out Group, a local video surveillance monitoring company.
Donna Bickley, Managing Director, Inside Out Group said: “Our local presence gave us the advantage of having a ready base for storage of parts, tools and test equipment as well as having experienced engineers immediately available to resolve any technical issues. With the CCTV having to be one of the last elements to be installed, the flexibility offered by a local participant was to everyone’s benefit.”
Inside Out Group installed a total of 139 Pelco Spectra IP cameras to monitor the ticket vending machines and passenger help points on platforms. In most cases, two cameras were installed at tram stops with more cameras at the main interchanges such as the railway station and terminal stations. Cameras were also installed at the new park and ride sites to cover the parking lot, besides the installed passenger help points. The PTZ dome HD Spectra cameras are integrated with the help devices so that in the event of activation, the associated camera image will be pushed to the operator’s control room monitor.
The cable and transmission network is designed in ring formation that allows full redundancy with automatic re-routing of traffic should a cable get cut. A dedicated four-fiber link is run to each camera from the transmission break-out points; these range in length from 5 to 550 meters depending on the distance involved.
Images from the more than 200 new and legacy cameras are recorded at 25 frames per second to 14 Pelco network recorders, each of which has a recording capacity of 250Mb per second. This design allows the system to record a month of footage or 600 terabytes, and helps to ensure full redundancy and load balancing should a recorder fail.
Simon Glover, Technical Manager, Inside Out Group says: “The built-in failover of the Pelco system allowed us to provide stability in case of hardware failure with a single manufacturer solution. In addition, we felt the alarm scripting allowed more flexibility than competitors’ solutions to meet the client’s needs.”
The installer redesigned and upgraded the NET central control room including adding a Pelco Endura Video Management System (VMS), a video wall with 12 new 55-inch flat-screen monitors and five new workstations that allow operators to remotely control the cameras’ pan, tilt and 22x optical zoom features. A secondary viewing suite at one of the car parks lets security staff watch the surveillance camera views with the ability to take control of the cameras. Maintenance of the system is managed by NET staff who have been trained at the nearby Inside Out Group offices.
Darren Smith, Deputy Operations Manager at NET, said: “The control room really is the beating heart of the network. The new system provides the operators with a constant picture of the actual minute-by-minute operation.”