Trouble brewing? Great Northern train emails warning to engineers months before breakdown.
- Smart device means greater reliability for passengers
- Good vibrations from innovative firm Perpetuum
Great Northern railway, run by Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), is making trains to and from London King’s Cross more reliable by fitting smart hi-tech kit that warns engineers by email when parts are developing a problem.
In a UK first, Great Northern has fitted sensors to both wheel bearings and gearboxes across an entire fleet – all 40 of its Class 365 trains that run between Cambridge, Peterborough and London King’s Cross. The last train will be kitted out tomorrow (20 September 2017).
The system, designed by Perpetuum, a business which was spun out of Southampton University, uses vibration sensors to provide real-time “in-flight” monitoring and diagnostics.
Gerry McFadden, Engineering Director of GTR, said: “This significant investment in state-of-the-art technology will improve the reliability of trains on the route, giving our passengers better journeys. Problems will be highlighted months in advance before these vital components have a chance to break down, avoiding further damage and delays.”
Perpetuum’s Chief Executive, Steve Turley, said: “If a defect is developing it will create a specific vibration signature which our technology can isolate and email an alert to Great Northern’s engineers at their depot in Hornsey. Looking at other train operators, we’ve never had a failure in service for the components our sensors monitor.”