After an extensive study was concluded North American Class 1 railroads teamed together by putting forth a bid combining their purchasing power with the intension of identifying the best supplier for locomotive LEDs. Railhead Corp. was officially awarded the North America locomotive LED lighting contract September of 2011.
Alsip, Illinois (2011) Railhead Corp., a railroad equipment supplier and manufacturer since 1964, designed and introduced solid state lighting for locomotives several years ago. A Class 1 study was quickly put underway to determine the benefits of applying LED technology to everyday locomotive use. Research has concluded that implementation results in significant maintenance savings, lower carbon footprint, fuel savings, improved safety, and better light quality. The lifespan of the locomotive LEDs are 5.7 to 10 years depending on use.
Chicago, Illinois (December 14, 2010) Railhead Vision Systems a pioneer in locomotive video since 1995 has been awarded Iowa Interstate’s contract. Iowa Interstate began updating their fleet with video in late November and plan on completing their full fleet conversion by May of 2011. Locomotive video is becoming increasingly popular as a way to save on costly litigation, aid in employee training practices, and integrate with event recorder information.
Alsip, Illinois - Railhead Vision Systems begins shipping locomotive video systems to Nippon Sharyo October 1st 2011. The contract was officially awarded on August 30th 2011 by Chicago METRA for 160 new forward and rear facing locomotive video systems. Railhead’s equipment is to be installed at Nippon Sharyo’s new facility in Rochelle, IL, including provisions for eventually adding cameras in the coaches. Locomotive video is becoming increasingly popular as a way to improve employee training practices and avoid costly litigation.
LOS ANGELES, CA, October 5, 2009: Today, Metrolink Board Chairman Keith Millhouse announced the commuter rail agency’s plans to activate inward- and outward- facing video cameras in all of its locomotives. Metrolink will become the first railroad system in the nation – passenger or freight – to install inward-facing cameras, once again demonstrating its ongoing commitment to passenger and rail safety innovation.
The new Locomotive Digital Video Recorder (LDVR) System includes three cameras per locomotive – an outward-facing camera to record activity in front of the train and two inward-facing cameras to record the control panels and human activities inside the locomotive cab. The LDVR also captures ambient audio transmissions associated with the visual images. All cameras and audio devices in each of the system’s 52 locomotives will be activated this week, between October 7 and 12. LDVRs will also be included in the 57 new Crash Energy Management-equipped lead passenger cars that Metrolink will place into service in the coming year.
“The installation of video cameras inside the control cabs of our trains will provide a significant deterrent to the type of dangerous and inappropriate activity, including text messaging and unauthorized persons in the cab, revealed during the National Transportation Safety Board’s hearing on last fall’s collision,” said Millhouse. “No other rail system in America uses inward-facing cameras to protect its passengers and employees. Use of this digital technology is another important step in our multi-faceted program to reduce the risk of accidents or incidents along our rail corridors and to provide an exceptional safety environment for our passengers and crews.” “Inward-facing cameras will help to prevent accidents and ensure that the highest level of safety is provided to the 43,000 commuters who depend on Metrolink every day,” said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “I applaud the Metrolink Board for their decisive action to implement this crucial safety equipment quickly and efficiently.”
Metrolink has adopted stringent procedures governing the authorized usage, retrieval, preservation and disclosure of the LDVR recordings captured by the video cameras and audio devices to ensure they are used only for the purposes permitted in its policy and procedures, or as required by law. The policy outlines the express purposes for capturing recordings on its fleet, which are:
␣ To promote and enhance safety and security for the general public, as well as for Metrolink and contractor employees
␣ For incident investigation purposes ␣ Random testing for compliance with rules governing use of electronic devices,
sleeping and unauthorized persons in the cab ␣ Where appropriate, to assist in Metrolink and contractor personnel discipline ␣ To examine and evaluate conditions on the right-of-way
“The installation of inward-facing video cameras was a key recommendation of the independent Commuter Rail Safety Peer Review Panel due to their ability to offer unique technological enhancements to our existing efficiency testing program,” said Millhouse. “The cameras provide a superior way to monitor activities already under constant observation and to document rules compliance and conditions on the right-of-way.”
While the application of inward-facing video technology is unprecedented in the commuter rail industry, it is a fairly common practice in the transit industry, particularly in buses. In Southern California, the Orange County Transportation Authority and Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) have both used interior video cameras for many years as a component of their onboard public safety programs.
Chicago-based Railhead Vision Systems, a division of Railhead Corporation, is the contractor providing the outward- and inward-facing cameras and audio recording system. Railhead has extensive experience providing similar equipment to commuter and freight railroad agencies across the county. Railhead Vision Systems’ digital recording system is designed specifically for use in heavy rail and mass transit applications.
Metrolink has previously taken the lead in rail safety advancements with the purchase of the first-of-its-kind Crash Energy Management-equipped commuter rail passenger cars and its industry-leading Sealed Corridor Program. As part of its ongoing commitment to passenger safety, Metrolink has added the “second set of eyes” program as an interim safety measure on strategic routes; has installed Automatic Train Stop technology at 43 speed-sensitive locations; and is implementing an accelerated strategy to install Positive Train Control equipment on all Metrolink trains by 2012, three years before required by federal mandate for national implementation, among other safety- focused initiatives.
Metrolink is Southern California’s regional commuter rail service in its 16th year of operations. The Southern California Regional Rail Authority, a joint powers authority made up of an 11-member board representing the transportation commissions of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties, governs the service. The agency currently contracts with Connex Railroad, LLC for the personnel that operate, supervise and manage Metrolink commuter rail service. Metrolink operates over seven routes through a six-county 512 route-mile network, serving more than 43,000 trips each weekday.
The New Mexico Rail Runner Express enhances safety, customer service and situational awareness with a combined video and event recorder monitoring system from Railhead Vision Systems® (http://www.ketools.com/site/epage/18694_475.htm) and Wi-Tronix®, LLC (http://www.wi-tronix.com). The jointly developed system provides the industry with a long awaited solution synchronizing video with data from any installed event recorder regardless of manufacturer or model. Slated for deployment by the Rail Runner, the system generates a single downloadable file containing both video and data extracted from an applied event recorder. Additionally, this innovative system enables real-time, wireless access to download video and event recorder information. Wi-Tronix and Railhead are the new standard for increasing railroad safety and customer service.
The system is comprised of two components: Wireless Processing Units (Wi-PU) (https://www.wi-tronix.com/WiPU_Description.aspx) from Wi-Tronix, and Railhead Digital Video Recorders (http://www.ketools.com/site/epage/18694_475.htm) from Railhead Vision Systems. The companies have integrated the two technologies to generate a single synchronized video file that also contains event recorder data. Wi-Tronix Universal Event Recorder Interface enables the system to work with any model of installed event recorder. With the power of real-time data download, managers can have instantaneous remote access to critical information. So if an emergency brake application occurs, authorized individuals would immediately receive wireless notification and can remotely download video and event recorder data. On board operator actions will be seamlessly viewable with video looking out the front of the locomotive or cab car. Real-time access to crucial information enables management to respond appropriately to the situation and maintain the highest level of safety and service for their customers.
"This system will help us in our day to day operations", says Lawrence Rael, Executive Director for the Mid-Region Council of Governments - the agency that operates the Rail Runner. "We will be able to look at potential problem areas on the train that might need to be addressed. Just having real-time information as it relates to the operations of the Rail Runner will provide added safety in the corridor."
The systems will be deployed on the entire Rail Runner fleet in May of 2008, providing the passenger line with enhanced safety, situational awareness and customer service.
About Wi-Tronix, LLC:
Wi-Tronix, LLC, headquartered in Bolingbrook, Illinois, provides products and services to wirelessly monitor high-value mobile assets used in rail, marine and other commercial and industrial operations. Wi-Tronix's mission is to enable businesses to improve the operational efficiency, service reliability and safety of high-value mobile assets. For additional information visit the Wi-Tronix website at www.wi-tronix.com.
About Railhead Vision Systems (a Division of the Railhead Corporation):
Railhead Vision Systems specializes in customized analog and digital video solutions for transportation and industrial. The Railhead Corporation was founded in 1965 as a Manufacturers Representative Firm in Chicago. Railhead Corporation has developed into an efficient, customer-minded and market-driven company. Today, Railhead Corporation still represents some of the original manufactures from its early years and also operates three divisions: K&E Tools, Railhead Vision Systems, and K&E Railhead. For additional information visit our website at www.ketools.com.
With three divisions in one, Railhead Corp. is a multi-faceted organization, working hard to keep our costumers moving both safely and securely. We specialize in safety equipment for the railway and airline industry; mobile video surveillance; and high-quality air tools for the automotive, industrial, assembly, and heavy-duty aftermarket.