Indian Railways rolls out its first “SMART” coach, including Perpetuum bearing, wheel and track monitoring

Indian Railways has just got its first “SMART” coach … which has several new features that will go a long way in enhancing the safety and security of train journeys and enhancing passenger comfort.

Indian Railways has got its first SMART coach

According to Indian Railways, SMART coach aims to provide world-class facilities to passengers with the help of an intelligent sensor-based system. With the use of SMART coach, Indian Railways aims to move to predictive maintenance instead of preventive maintenance. The SMART coach has been manufactured by the Modern Coach Factory, Raebareli as part of the Made in India initiative. SMART coach has been built on the LHB-platform and comes equipped with state-of-the-art sensors and a centralised computer that in turn monitors all the sensors. Ashwani Lohani, Chairman of Railway Board today inspected the first SMART coach and soon 100 such coaches will be rolled out.

The SMART coach offers Indian Railways a single window platform to monitor several key indicators of the train’s health – from coach diagnosis to security and surveillance system. From a passenger’s perspective the SMART coach boasts of a Wi-fi hot spot information system. This means passengers can connect their devices – laptop, tables and mobile phones – to WiFi and watch movies and play songs!

Salient features of Indian Railways first SMART coach:

1. The SMART coach has a “vibration-based self power harvesting sensor” that is there on the axle box. This helps predict wheel defects, defects on the bearings, and hard spot (defects) on the track. What this means is that Indian Railways will now be able to plan maintenance as per need. This will also eliminate line failures.Indian Railways has got its first SMART coach

Perpetuum’s wireless sensor node – powered by the vibration for at least 20 years!

2. SMART coach has a Passenger Information and Coach Computing Unit (PICCU) a CPU that is similar to an industrial grade computer. This has been provided with GSM network which sends ‘exception reports’ to the remote server. PICCU will monitor 4 important areas of coach maintenance and passenger interface.

a. Security and surveillance system: CCTV system with artificial intelligence capability will improve the security standards of the train and also help in keeping a check on the behaviour of the railway staff. The footage would help track untoward incidents.

b. GPS-based passenger announcement and passenger information system and the digital destination board: The passenger information system keeps passengers informed about the current location of the train, expected time of arrival at the next station and the speed of the train.

c. Coach diagnostic system: The SMART coach system can monitor the brake system and detect any default in it. This in turn can be communicated to the maintenance staff.

d. Interface with other sub-systems like air conditioning, fire detection and alarm system, disc brake system and water level indicator.

According to Indian Railways with the SMART coach, the overall maintenance cost will come down since the sensor based system will provide advance notification about impending faults. Indian Railways claims that the cost of the system – approximately Rs 12-14 lakh will be recovered in a year’s time.

Link to orginal Financial Express article

Perpetuum receives investment to develop rail monitoring system

Perpetuum has secured an investment from the Rail Supply Growth Fund to advance the development of its self-powered rail condition monitoring system.

The £3m investment, the second fund the company receives from the Rail Supply Growth Fund, will also be used to increase capacity, client base and create new jobs at Perpetuum.

Perpetuum has already used part of the investment to create 32 new knowledge-intensive positions to take its total workforce to 60. The company also plans to support new research and development activities.

Perpetuum CEO Steve Turley said: “At Perpetuum, we’re focused on revolutionising the rail industry by helping clients to improve performance and efficiency, minimise disruptions and deliver seamless passenger experiences, while also benefiting from significant cost savings.”

“Over the past few years, we’ve generated real momentum, with more clients and industry partners recognising the potential of our conditional monitoring technology. This investment from the Rail Fund will help us to maintain this momentum, refine our technology and pursue more business to accelerate growth.”

Perpetuum at Innotrans 2018: Our biggest ever presence

Innotrans Hall 6, Stand 214

Perpetuum will be exhibiting at Innotrans, 18 to 21 September 2018, in Berlin, Germany. This will be Perpetuum’s third appearance at Innotrans and its biggest ever presence, reflecting the company’s rapid growth as ever increasing numbers of rail companies adopt remote condition monitoring to monitor the ‘in flight’ health of their fleets and transform their asset management.

“We will be demonstrating how our wireless and self-powered solution has made connected bogies and smart wheelsets a reality. The business case for RCM is compelling; lower maintenance costs and increased availability meansit has been adopted by train operators across the globe,” explains Justin Southcombe, Commercial Director.

“Proven digital solutions, such as ours, will be a key theme at the event this year. At Innotrans in 2016, I would estimate that 30 per cent of companies were talking about the impact of digitization in the rail industry – at Innotrans 2018 I expect it to be twice that amount of exhibitors. Digital is no longer just an option, but a necessity as it becomes part of everyone’s business.”

In the 24 months since its last appearance at Innotrans, Perpetuum has experienced rapid growth, securing milestone contracts with train operators around the world and has been deployed in the UK, Australia, USA and Sweden. It has also moved to larger UK headquarters, accommodating its growing team of technical experts, analytical and support teams, as well as new, larger, laboratories.


Perpetuum presents at Rise of IoT and Big Data in Rail event

Perpetuum at Innotrans

Perpetuum recently presented at the Rise of IoT and Big Data in Rail event, held in Munich, Germany, 29th May 2018.

The Rise of IoT and Big Data in Rail event explored the huge breadth of predictive maintenance applications of big data, allowing Infrastructure Managers and train operating companies understand fully how they can benefit from harvesting data from across the whole of their railway operations.

Robert Mulder, Perpetuum’s Global Sales Director shared with delegates Perpetuum’s experience in aggregating vehicle and infrastructure data to drive out system and process inefficiencies in rail.

“Perpetuum is at the forefront of data capture and the innovative application development needed to harness it to its maximum potential. As a company, we are at the forefront of the digitisation of the railways, capturing the “in flight” status of rail assets for train operators around the world. We look forward to sharing our experience with the industry at the event,” explains Robert.


Perpetuum invited to speak at UK’s first Rail Asset Management Summit

Perpetuum has announced it has been invited to speak at the first Rail Asset Management Summit, 28th February 2018, London, United Kingdom. Commercial Director Justin Southcombe will be speaking on the remote monitoring of wheelsets, based upon Perpetuum’s experience.

Perpetuum’s award-winning, self-powered, wireless sensing technology allows real-time monitoring and analytics of both rolling stock and the track it travels over. The health of bearings, bogies, wheels, gearboxes, motors and track can be constantly checked and the data continuously communicated to asset managers.

“The Rail Asset Management Summit addresses the Internet of Things, performance data and analysis and the impact of the digitalisation of the railway on assets, subjects Perpetuum are well placed to comment upon,” explains Justin.


Innovative Remote Conditioning Monitoring (RCM) specialist Perpetuum, has announced it will be exhibiting and speaking at the AsiaPacificRail Summit, Hong Kong, 20 to 21 March 2018.

Perpetuum will be showcasing its highly successful “in flight” condition monitoring technology and data capture, which can transform rail operators’ asset management, saving costs and increasing passenger satisfaction.

AsiaPacific logo

Now in its 20th year, the AsiaPacificRail Summit will be focusing on how new technology integration continues to play a vital role in ensuring efficient operation management. For instance, Perpetuum’s award-winning, self-powered, wireless sensing technology allows real-time monitoring and analytics of both rolling stock and the track it travels over. The health of bearings, bogies, wheels, gearboxes, motors and track can be constantly checked and the data continuously communicated to asset managers. Consequently, there is far less need to remove stock from circulation for time consuming and costly inspections. Instead, asset managers will see from the data when a part is nearing the end of its shelf life and it can be quickly and easily replaced.

“The Asia Pacific rail market is one in which Perpetuum’s services are already established and we are looking forward to addressing delegates at the Summit,” explains Justin Southcombe, Commercial Director for Perpetuum. “We welcome all visitors to our stand, particularly to share knowledge and network with us as we grow our market share in this important marketplace.”

For more details on Perpetuum visit

Ausrail image

Please drop by and visit us on our stand 691.


Innovative Remote Conditioning Monitoring (RCM) specialist Perpetuum, has beaten off tough competition to win a 10 year contract with Swedish state-owned train operator SJ to monitor its fleet of high speed X2000’s.

With over 4,500 employees and serving 275 stations, SJ aims to one of the most digitalised companies in the world within the next five years. It has chosen Perpetuum’s cutting edge RCM technology and analytical solutions to move its wheelset maintenance away from distance-based to condition-based decisions. Perpetuum’s solution will give ‘inflight’ analysis of train fleets, track, bearings and wheels and ensure maintenance is correctly focused.

Perpetuum won the contract following tests conducted during an 18-month trial on 80 wheels in the harsh Scandinavian environment. Perpetuum will monitor the wheelsets by using its Bearing Health Index and Wheel Health Index solutions, the algorithms of which have been deployed around the world on over 8,000 wheels travelling over four billion km. Supporting the solution through a 10 year service agreement means Perpetuum can future-proof the data and information streams for SJ, even if there are upgrades to the on-train or back office ICT architectures.

“Perpetuum has proven to be a reliable RCM supplier who delivers cutting edge technology that will help us improve our operation and service to our customers even further,” explains Arvid Fredman, Fleet Manager X2 for SJ.  “The investment fits well with our strategy to be in the forefront of digitalization and continuously striving for efficient and cost effective maintenance.”

“The data collected by Perpetuum can be used to predict failures, increase asset management efficiencies and improve safety, meaning more time on the track for the bogie and a better chance of meeting increased demands over the next decade,” explains Justin Southcombe, Commerical Director for Perpetuum.

“SJ’s X2000 is the tenth fleet the Perpetuum Remote Condition Monitoring system has been deployed on and we are delighted to be working SJ, our first contract in the strategic Scandinavian market.”

Perpetuum, the innovative remote conditioning monitoring specialist, has announced it will be exhibiting at the Elmia Nordic Rail Conference, Sweden, October 10th to 12th 2017. Perpetuum will be exhibiting its cutting edge technology and information services, which is established in rail markets around the world.

Elmia Nordic Rail is the only dedicated railway exhibition in Scandinavia for companies, organizations and individuals with a professional interest in the railway, directly or indirectly.

Perpetuum’s award-winning, quick-to-install and maintenance-free technology, combined with unique expertise and rich analytics, provides valuable real-time “in flight” information that enables rail asset managers to save cost, increase safety and plan more efficiently.

“Our remote condition monitoring services are helping companies across the globe to secure valuable operational efficiencies and take a step closer to the digitisation of the railways,” explains Justin Southcombe, Perpetuum’s Commercial Director. “We are very much looking forward to showcasing this in Sweden.”


For more details on Perpetuum visit

Trouble brewing? Great Northern train emails warning to engineers months before breakdown.

Fitting sensors to the Great Northern Class 365 fleet at Hornsey depot, north London
  • 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.”

Click to go to GTR news room


In another key growth announcement, Perpetuum, the innovative remote conditioning monitoring specialist, has entered the Chinese rail market after cementing a key partnership with Beijing Sheenline Group Co., Ltd.

Perpetuum and Sheenline have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to manage the introduction of Perpetuum into China. The contract scope is for wheelset, bogie and track information services plus Perpetuum’s wireless, self-powered sensors, as well as design support for installation and commissioning of the systems. Sheenline has procured Perpetuum equipment that will be deployed throughout China over the next two years, targeting Very High Speed, Metros and Freight applications.

Sheenline is owned by China High Speed Railway Technology Co Ltd (CHSR), which is listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange and has been involved in the design and equipping of nearly all rolling stock depots in China. It is a major supplier to CHINA RAILWAY Corp. (the reformed MOR) and CRRC Corp., the Chinese publicly traded rolling stock manufacturer and the local transport municipalities throughout China.

“China is the largest railway market in the world and is only destined to get bigger and more influential.  We are very pleased to have found a partner in Sheenline which allows us to offer our Chinese clients the service and support they expect from Perpetuum,” explains Justin Southcombe, Commercial Director for Perpetuum. “This is a very exciting time for both companies to be working in the Chinese market as it looks to revolutionise productivity and punctuality in its railways.”

Xuefeng HUANG, vice-president of Sheenline says; “Sheenline has been investing in high technology as part of its data centralisation strategy and Perpetuum provides the analytical services and on-board data capture that we have been looking for.  We share a vision of introducing carefully selected technology that can be integrated to ensure that the railways can achieve more from less, more safely.”

Trains running ‘perpetually’ with Perpetuum software

  • Expected lifespan increase of up to 25% for wheel bearings
  • Algorithms monitor and calculate wear on bearings and railhead
  • Class 334 fleet will all be fitted with sensors in 2017

Improving reliability and reducing time spent in maintenance depots for the ScotRail Alliance’s Class 334 fleet will be achieved with the fitting of wireless sensors to monitor wheels and wheel bearing condition.

Maintenance regulations require the Class 334 electric trains to have all wheel bearings replaced on hard time maintenance schedules every 600,000 miles whether they need the new parts or not. This means time out of service and sometimes unnecessary maintenance. The addition of this UK-developed system allows the continual monitoring of wheels, bearings and the track and should deliver a 25% increase in bearing lifespans, due to timely fault identification and monitoring.

Perpetuum wireless sensors use a patented ‘energy-harvester’ to provide readings to a centralised data concentrator. This information gives a real-time analysis of the wheel-rail interface showing if there’s bearing/wheel wear or some damage to the track that could impact on overall safety.

There are already over 10,000 of these sensors deployed by rail operators in England, the USA and Australia – with over 1.5 billion miles of ‘service experience’ to learn from – but the ScotRail fleet represents the first time Perpetuum has been used in Scotland.

Similar technology is already used in aviation for passenger aircraft where maintenance is ‘condition-based’ but its value in managing train fleets’ reliability and repairs is now becoming apparent.

The sensors are mounted onto the wheel bearing cover, where they capture data and transmit to a data concentrator. Algorithms calculate differences in the interface and this alerts the fleet manager when the train is ready for maintenance or of a potential fault developing.

Track officials can also see information which pinpoints changes in condition of the track, allowing prompt repair and subsequently lessening damage to the train wheels.

Three Class 334 trains were used in the Perpetuum pilot on the Scottish rail network, with the whole fleet scheduled for fitting in 2017. This is in addition to wifi equipment, which is now live across the 40-strong fleet and free to use for customers.

The ScotRail Alliance’s fleet director Angus Thom said: “Keeping our trains out on the tracks, delivering a safe and efficient rail service is essential to our operation. This technology helps our maintenance teams make informed and timely decisions around monitoring repairs and potential problems, so keeping our 334 fleet in optimal operating condition.”

Perpetuum’s chief executive Dr Steve Turley said: “If fleet managers know what condition a train is in they don’t spend time and budget putting it through an unnecessary upkeep and repair programme. ‘Condition-based’ maintenance means that trains spend more time on the track and improved customer service.”


For further information please contact ScotRail Alliance Comms on 0141 555 4105/4247 or