Northern offers a first look at new technologies made famous by NASA

Northern has given an international delegation a preview of the LIDAR technology made famous by NASA aboard its Intelligent Trains concept train.

Photo credit: Northern

A delegation of more than 60 national and international rail industry professionals previewed some of the new technologies Northern has developed as part of its Intelligent Trains programme.

The new technology

Representatives from Network Rail, Jacobs, Atkins, Porterbrook, Angel and Eversholt were among those who joined Northern on 16 January for a special return trip from Manchester Victoria to the Bradford Interchange. The journey took place on a Class 150 train equipped with horizon-scanning LIDAR cameras — the same ones used by NASA to map the lunar surface — a radome, 180-degree thermal imaging software, acoustic monitors, a G-Shock Bogie and an AI Camera.

The technology is designed to make rail travel safer and more efficient, allowing Northern to monitor the performance of its trains in “real time” while providing Network Rail with information about tracks and other infrastructure.

Images show delegates aboard the Intelligent Trains concept train

Delegates aboard the Intelligent Trains concept train – Credit: Northern

“We were delighted to bring together such an illustrious group of rail industry representatives for the inaugural test of our Intelligent Trains ‘concept train’,” said Rob Warnes, Strategic Development Director at Northern. “Among the many benefits of this technology is the ability to ‘early diagnose’ technical problems on both rails and trains, which can be addressed as part of planned maintenance, rather than having to react when something goes wrong.”

Northern’s Intelligent Trains program operates in partnership with Network Rail, Belvoir Rail, Yellow Rail, DG8 and Modux.

Related Organizations

Angel, Atkins, Belvoir Rail, DG8, Eversholt Rail, Jacobs, Modux, NASA, Network Rail, Northern, Porterbrook, Yellow Rail

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