Belgian rail: real-time camera surveillance in new trains
3.000 cameras will be installed in the SNCB/NMBS’ 445 new trains to be delivered next year. They will transfer a real-time image feed to the rail transport control unit, which can deploy Securail forces or call the police in case of problems.
Starting from March 2019, the Belgian rail company, SNCB/NMBS, will start to receive its new double-decker M-7 trains. The 445 ordered units will add 50.000 places on the company’s trains. The last vehicles should be delivered by the end of 2021.
Smile for the camera
Currently, one third of the SNCB/NMBS fleet of trains is equipped with surveillance cameras. Those recent Desiro trains constantly record their passenger’s activity and store it on hard discs. “Those images are stored aboard the train and can’t be accessed remotely. Images are kept seven days on the hard discs”, comments Elisa Roux, SNCB/NMBS’ spokesperson.
The new M-7 trains will be equipped with 3.000 cameras that will send a real-time feed to the rail transport control unit. “If there’s an incident aboard one of our new trains, we’ll be able to send the Securail team or the police to the next stop”, explains the spokesperson, “but it has a major deterrent effect, people know their monitored in real-time.” The company will therefore be able to check whether passengers are still taking their bicycles in the train or issue administrative fines to misbehaving users.
More trains equipped
With the addition of the future M-7 trains, the current proportion of trains equipped with surveillance cameras (one third) will naturally increase. “This proportion will also rise with the progressive decommissioning of old M-4 trains”, adds Elisa Roux. The SNCB/NMBS will add signs to its trains warning passengers that they are being filmed.