Network Rail has supplied 30 cameras to maintenance delivery units on electrified routes across the country that will allow instant remote inspections of overhead wires and components, speeding up maintenance.
Engineers can operate the cameras without turning off the power and closing the line. The cameras are attached to an overhead wire and held steady by two small stabilising arms on insulated poles. The camera can tilt so that images and video of the top and side of the wire can also be seen.
High resolution images are instantly captured and streamed to a portable laptop. Engineers can view this for instant review of the condition of the wire and equipment components. A schedule for repair of any defects can then be put in place.
Network Rail director of maintenance Steve Featherstone said the cameras could save millions of pounds each year in compensation payments for service delays caused when overhead wires need to be brought down.