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On the evening of March 12, a team comprising women used Plain Line Pattern Recognition technology (PLPR), an important part of our strategy to predict and prevent faults before they occur. PLPR is state-of-the-art equipment that takes 70,000 images of track a second to give our analysts better than ever data.
Within our Asset Information Services unit, women ran a full PLPR and track geometry shift, including roles such as on-train technicians, train driver and delivery manager. A team back in the office analysed the data collected on the train, with the final information ready for use within 72 hours.
It follows International Women’s Day (March 8) events across Britain, including all-female-run passenger trains from London Victoria to Gillingham in Kent; Edinburgh Waverley to London King’s Cross and London Paddington to Bristol.
To mark International Women’s Day, Network Rail also released a flagship film encouraging all young people to discover exciting career opportunities on the railway. Watch the film, All Change, here.
What is Plain Line Pattern Recognition?
PLPR substantially increases our capacity to monitor, inspect and fix track faults. It monitors and records track condition information, and can find issues such as missing fasteners, excess ballast and ineffective rail clamps.
A fleet of five monitoring trains, including the New Measurement Train (NMT) – the most technically advanced train of its type in the world – uses it.
Cameras mounted underneath the trains capture an image every 0.8mm, taking 70,000 images a second at the top speed of 125mph.
PLPR identifies potential defects and sends them to our expert inspection team in Derby. Local track section managers then receive information about confirmed defects, enabling engineers to target track maintenance more effectively.
Watch this existing film to see PLPR in action:
How much will it help
PLPR-equipped trains have replaced manual inspections on 8,500 miles of track, improving the accuracy and frequency of inspections.
With the potential to reach 15,000 miles, the aim is to increase these live inspections – a target has been supported by the opening of a second PLPR facility in Derby in January 2019.
Over Control Period 6 (our next budget and planning period, which will run from 2019 to 2024), PLPR will cover almost one million (975,000) miles of railway track across Britain.
Why is it important?
As well as benefiting passengers, PLPR provides a safer method of track inspection by reducing unnecessary track visits and helping to get boots off the ballast.
PLPR also represents an efficient use of public money, having saved the taxpayer an estimated £2.2m so far, with further savings anticipated over CP6 and beyond.
Gender pay gap report
The post IWD: all-female team in first for track inspection appeared first on Network Rail.
This article first appeared on www.networkrail.co.uk
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