National Express East Anglia (NXEA) has won the Engineering Award at the recent UK rail industry Rail Innovation Awards for the development of its pioneering Remote Train Monitoring (RTM) equipment which is now fitted to the company’s fleet of Intercity trains, helping to improve performance on the Norwich, Ipswich and Colchester to London Liverpool Street mainline by reducing delays caused by train faults and defects.
RTM is helping to improve the performance and reliability of the Class 90 locomotives, driving vehicles and coaches that operate the Intercity services on this route, following the development of the remote monitoring equipment fitted to the locomotives and vehicles to provide comprehensive real-time analysis and performance monitoring of the trains while in service. The system is the first of its type to be ‘retro-fitted’ to a complete fleet of trains in the UK rail industry and has been conceived, designed, constructed and installed by NXEA’s fleet engineering team, based at Crown Point Maintenance Depot in Norwich.
The RTM system operates via monitoring equipment installed on the trains and vehicles which provides immediate real-time information to NXEA’s engineers and technicians who are able to monitor all the key elements of the trains’ performance via their PCs or laptop computers. The data can be immediately analysed to help resolve a fault occurring while a train is in service, and act as a preventative aid to reduce the instances of train failures by identifying a component that might fail and cause a future delay to a service.
The success of RTM is seen as industry best-practice and is being incorporated into a number of other projects around the network.
John Ratcliffe, Engineering Director, National Express East Anglia commented: “Remote Train Monitoring is an innovative and practical way of reducing delays caused by train failures and I am extremely pleased that the development skills of our fleet engineering team has been recognised with this rail industry-wide award. The development of this system demonstrates our commitment to improving the punctuality and reliability of our trains, and thereby providing our customers with an improving train service.”