CZ/SK verze

EXCITING: First Fully Remotely Controlled Railway Station in the Czech Republic

EXCITING: First Fully Remotely Controlled Railway Station in the Czech Republic
photo: Securitas ČR/First Fully Remotely Controlled Railway Station in the Czech Republic
30 / 01 / 2023

Buildings equipped with time locks and remote monitoring of interior spaces represent the future of stations without train dispatchers and ticket takers. The pilot project in the Czech Republic is the railway station in Stráž nad Ohří in the Karlovy Vary Region.

The first purely unmanned train station that is secured remotely is being tested by the Railway Administration (Správa Železnic) with the largest security agency on the Czech market, SECURITAS ČR. Located in Stráž nad Ohří in the Karlovy Vary Region, the pilot project automatically locks and unlocks the station building and access to the train platforms with a time lock. The interior of the building is equipped with a monitoring camera system connected to the remote security desk of the Securitas Operations Center (SOC).

A remote operator will release the latecomers

The building is automatically locked sometime after the arrival of the last train and after a prior visual inspection of the waiting area by the SOC operator and unlocked well in advance of the arrival of the first-morning train. Before the deployment of this solution, the building was unlocked and locked by the hired exit staff, but they could be called away for another emergency exit and passengers could then not access the station building and platform. However, the time lock did not mean that latecomers had to spend an involuntary night at the station.

"If a passenger is delayed in the station building, the SOC operator will ask them to leave the guarded area via a loudspeaker in the station building. If someone remains locked in the building, the SOC operator can unlock it remotely," says Jan Peroutka, technical director of SECURITAS ČR. Thus, the station building is continuously monitored via SOC from locking to opening, without the need for the physical presence of security guards," adds Jan Peroutka.

"As the modernisation of the Czech railway continues, there are more and more stations where there are no longer any transport employees. Nevertheless, we want to offer passengers a pleasant environment while waiting for a train. That is why we decided to join the project of remote locking of waiting rooms. The timer of the locks can always be set according to local conditions, and the safety of passengers is monitored by a camera system. I believe that thanks to the good experience from Stráž nad Ohří, we will be able to extend this system to our other stations," says Vladimír Abraham, Director of the Safety and Crisis Management Department of the Railway Administration.

Cheaper than physical building security

The automated remote management and monitoring of the station building allow the building to be locked and unlocked as needed (an automatic locking and unlocking time is stably set, but the SOC operator can also unlock and lock outside these specified times), while the waiting room and entrance doors are under constant control of the monitoring cameras when the building is locked. This solution is more efficient, does not depend on the physical presence of a mobile unit and is also less costly. Given the increasing number of station buildings without dispatchers and cashiers, it is likely that the demand for a similar solution will increase.

The pilot operation of a fully automated and remotely controlled station in Stráž nad Ohří by SECURITAS ČR has been in operation since 2022 and was preceded by two to three years of discussions. Following the evaluation of this solution by the client, SŽ is considering its widespread deployment throughout the Czech Republic.

Source: Securitas ČR