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Machine vision will enhance station safety

The new technology will make it possible to reduce expenses on locomotive crews
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TMH-Intellectual Systems has demonstrated CTRL@VISION 100 WE, a remote video monitoring system for the movement of railway cars during shunting operations, to engineers of JSC NC Kazakhstan Temir Zholy. After successful testing of the system, it is planned to put it into commercial operation on Kazakhstan’s railway network.

CTRL@VISION 100 WE was created by specialists of the Machine Vision Competence Center, opened in 2020 on the basis of TMH-Intelligent Systems (TMH-IS).

The demonstration trip was organized for Kazakhstan Temir Zholy managers and involved employees under the conditions of simulated shunting operations of a train of 25 freight cars with the movement of a pilot train in the shunting areas of Nur-Sultan 1 station. 

During the presentation the system’s mobile unit equipped with a camera was installed on the tail car of the train. The image from the camera unit is displayed on the monitor in the driver's cab. The data about vacancy in front of the tail car and the distance to the objects in the train's movement gauge are received on the screen. The recording is stored for 5 days. The equipment of the mobile unit is powered by a battery installed inside the case. The battery capacity ensures the system operation for 12 hours.

As Gudok was told by a source at TMH-IS, the system is designed to solve the problem of limited visibility when the train is moving with the cars first. It allows the driver to assess the train situation, exclude the presence of the shunting master on the foot of the car, and be aware of its location when shunting, transporting or transferring operations are performed. This will minimize accidents involving shunting masters. 

Andrey Romanchikov, TMH-IS General Director, notes that CTRL@VISION 100 WE has already been tested on the tracks of the Kazzinc Metallurgical Plant. 

“The system is undergoing a test period; the tests were conducted with the length of the rolling stock from 10 to 72 cars (approximately 900 meters). We also plan to conduct large-scale tests on the KTZ’s network and the railway infrastructure of steel companies ArcelorMittal and NLMK”, he adds. 

During the test drive, Batyr Kotyrev, Chief Engineer and Director of KTZ's Technical Policy Department, noted that KTZ has been working to improve safety culture on rail transport in recent years. The remote video monitoring system will be another step in this direction.

“A freight train shunting master is one of the most traumatizing occupations on railways. Human life and health are the main values of the company, so we initiated this project. A number of developers offered their technical solutions. We have opted for one of them,” says Batyr Kotyrev. 

According to Andrey Romanchikov, testing of the system has now started in the pilot mode.  The CTRL@VISION 100 WE system of driver assistance in moving with cars first is scheduled for delivery in the current quarter of 2022 and will be installed on the rolling stock of KTZ and Kazzinc mining and metallurgical company.

“It is planned that after successful testing, the system will be put into commercial operation”, says Andrey Romanchikov.

It should be noted that the presentation of the CTRL@VISION 100 WE system was a continuation of the successful cooperation between TMH-IS and KTZ, as well as of an earlier project of equipping Maylytogai station with the modern CTRL@LOCK 400 microprocessor interlocking system

Sergey Volkov

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