London – GB Railfreight (GBRf) has successfully concluded a four-week trial of a pioneering brake monitoring solution, setting a global precedent in the realm of rail safety and efficiency. Collaboratively developed with industry leaders Icomera, DG8, and SENSEi, this novel system employs battery-powered sensors to wirelessly relay crucial wheel and brake data to both train drivers and operational control centres during pre-departure vehicle inspections.
Utilizing Internet of Things (IoT) technology, this breakthrough holds significant potential to bolster rail network safety by curbing incidents tied to wheel and brake malfunctions. Notably, it marks the inaugural introduction of a wireless, closed-system approach that funnels freight wagon brake sensor information directly to locomotive drivers. By accessing this data via a specialized application on their in-cab tablets, train operators can instantaneously address potential wheel and brake-related hazards and adapt based on real-time feedback.
In light of the test’s success, GBRf and its partners are already at the drawing board, devising the next iterations of this transformative solution, with subsequent trials on the horizon.
David Golding, Asset Director at GB Railfreight, expressed, “Together with our esteemed industry counterparts, we’ve validated the feasibility of a rail sector innovation. GBRf takes immense pride in pioneering freight industry advancements that specifically target wheel and brake challenges.”
Echoing this sentiment, Peter Kingsland, SVP of Icomera UK, remarked, “As the freight sector expands, rail freight operators are rightfully championing digital solutions to preempt risks. Bridging drivers with engineering teams via real-time, onboard sensor data is an intuitive progression towards a universally safer and more streamlined rail network.”
SENSEi Networks Limited’s CEO, Damon Thomas, highlighted the tech’s edge, stating, “The integration of low-power sensors, extended wireless connectivity, and edge computing is revolutionizing freight rail by actualizing long-desired autonomous monitoring and real-time alerts. This translates to marked enhancements in operational precision, cost-effectiveness, and overall safety.”