Radio-Tech has won the prestigious Best Small-Scale Innovation at this year’s Railway Forum / Modern Railways Innovation Awards against strong competition. The awards, announced at a gala reception at the Institution of Civil Engineers in London at the end of June, recognised Radio-Tech’s Rail Temperature Monitor (RTM) system, developed with Network Rail, as a key development.
L-R: Adrian Lyons, DG Railway Forum, Brian Back, MD Radio-Tech, Chris Green, Chairman Railway Forum, Inder Panesar, Radio-Tech
The award, presented to Brian Back and Inder Panesar of Radio-Tech, is for “small-scale innovations that have a big impact on improving the effectiveness of the railway”. The RTM system is a radio telemetry system that enables rail temperatures to be monitored constantly, anywhere on the network, providing early warning of the risk of track buckling without endangering personnel.
“We congratulate Radio-Tech for their innovation that, although small scale, tackles a big problem in a simple and elegant way”, said Adrian Lyons, Director General of the Railway Forum. “With hotter summers occurring more frequently, improvements in monitoring the impact of heat on the railway to minimse disruption to services are very important developments.”
Up to eight non-invasive rail-mounted temperature probes at each location transmit to a track-side wireless data logger with a 70 metre reception radius. This in turn reports back to the central server running the RTM application software, where temperatures can be monitored. The server can also export data over the internet, an intranet or via SMS text message, enabling personnel to remotely access the information.
Currently, temperature monitoring is carried out manually at previously assessed critical areas by personnel on-track. The RTM system increases safety for staff and provides a more efficient system of temperature monitoring. The system monitors temperatures automatically and can be deployed anywhere on the rail network including tunnel mouths, cuttings, areas liable to flooding and restricted areas such as red zone working prohibited areas.