Police to monitor live CCTV footage from Northern trains, rail operator reveals

British Transport Police will soon be able to monitor live CCTV footage from Northern trains, the rail operator has announced.

The move is part of changes the company say will make its fleet of 345 trains safer and more efficient for passengers.

Northern is installing technology used by NASA to map the surface of the moon as part of the programme of work.

The light detection and radar (LIDAR) scanning technology includes horizon-scanning cameras that can detect infrastructure defects, environmental threats and maintenance issues.

New technology is being installed on Northern's fleet of trains

The train-mounted cameras use the same light detection and radar (LIDAR) process as used by meteorologists to measure clouds and pollution and which was famously used by NASA to map the surface of the moon.

Thermal imaging systems will also be deployed to monitor passenger load factors and provide accurate information to service partners in the event of an emergency.

A spokesperson said: "Northern is also aligning its on-board CCTV systems with British Transport Police to enable officers to tune-in to live, high-definition footage on-board its trains."

It said the move will allow BTP to monitor security incidents and threats to public safety in real time.

Roll-out of the new technology will begin later this month, with more to follow throughout the course of 2022.

Nick Donovan, managing director of Northern, said: “This is the beginning of what we’re calling ‘Intelligent Trains’. With these modifications, our fleet won’t just travel the network, they will actively monitor and report back on issues that could have an impact on our operation.

“The result will be greater efficiencies in terms of resource allocation, faster responses in terms of maintenance programmes and an overall smarter – and safer - way of working.

“We are sharing details of this new software with other train operators so that passengers the length and breadth of the country can benefit from the approach we have pioneered in the North of England.”

Northern is the second largest train operator in the country with nearly 2,000 services a day to more than 500 stations across the North of England.

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