Network Rail, a company that operates the railway network in the UK, is launching a smartphone application to cater for the network’s emergency requirements.
The application links the company’s helicopters to emergency services, and will be able to track crews dealing with incidents on the railway network.
The application, which has been named ‘Where Am I?’, uses GPS to locate the incident and then translates the location into geological references. The app has been created to allow the air crew surveying the railway line to find the locations of incidents and send that information to crew members on the ground, after translating the location into a variety of formats, such as, post codes used by the emergency services, grid references used by helicopters, and mileage-based line references used by the railway.
The director of asset information for Network Rail, Patrick Bossert, said, ‘We are always looking for innovative solutions to the challenges we face in managing assets distributed over a 20,000-mile network. By using modern technology we can offer a step-change in the speed and ease with which we can locate and tackle problems to keep trains running smoothly.’
The app for mobile devices was launched during the 2012 Olympic Games and has proven itself successful in identifying an incident and directing emergency services to the exact location.
The accuracy of the app has been tested to within a radius of five metres, and it will be helpful in identifying emergency situations for the entire railway network in the UK.