Cameras from Hikvision, City of Industry, Calif., are being used at Nuremberg railway station in Germany, the largest railway station in northern Bavaria that

Nuremberg “Hauptbahnhof”
Nuremberg “Hauptbahnhof” (main station) is the largest railway station in northern Bavaria and one of the 20 largest in Germany

 currently receives 130,000 passengers every weekday. The 1.3 megapixel vandal-resistant dome cameras are allowing station management to protect travelers and provide them with context-sensitive information.

As part of continuing improvements in customer care and heightened vigilance against terrorism, Deutsche Bahn AG has begun to transform its operational control centers and is upgrading camera surveillance from analog to IP systems. These measures are part of information gathering at control hubs known as “3-S Centres” where video streams, audio signals, telephone and radio messages are assessed so that appropriate action can be taken.

Passengers communicate with the control centers using information/emergency columns on the station platforms at Nuremberg and the Hikvision cameras are positioned nearby so that officials can see high-quality images of the platforms and surrounding areas at resolution of up to 1280 x 960 pixels. Staff are able to make specific announcements to individual travelers including wheelchair users, giving advice that is appropriate to their situation or difficulty. They can also discount frivolous activation of emergency buttons — perhaps by school children — with a simple evaluation of images.

The Hikvision cameras have been installed as part of a turnkey emergency and logistical solution designed by the Munich-based Indanet AG, which is working closely with Hikvision as a technology partner. Indanet AG specializes in the public transport and traffic management sectors.

Hikvision cameras support video management systems (VMS) from many major vendors. On this project the cameras are operating from the control center management system developed by Indanet AG. It is based on the company’s neXus control center software that unifies disparate categories of data into a single, future-proof solution that is cost-effective and incorporates “green” use of legacy equipment where appropriate. Disciplines can include CCTV, help points, passenger information, access control, fire prevention and track-to-train communication.

The cameras use a 2.7~9mm (F1.2) lens and feature a 1/3-in. SONY progressive scan CCD. Minimum illumination is 0.1 lux at F1.2 or 0.01 lux at F1.2 in black and white mode. The 1.3 megapixel cameras offer H.264 / MPEG-4 dual-stream real-time video compression with various frame rate options according to usage demands. These dome units can be triggered by motion detection and if needed users can store data “at the edge” on a 32-gigabyte SD/SDHC local card. There are local alarm inputs and outputs with audio compression achieved by the Ogg Vorbis format, a feature that was consistent with the open-protocol approach demanded by the end user on this project. The cameras have an ingress protection rating of IP66 and the enclosures are providing protection against airborne contaminants including brake pad particles, which are a familiar problem at railway stations.

Jurgen Fuchs, director of strategic projects at Indanet AG, said, “The Hikvision cameras are proving robust in a demanding environment and the price-to-performance ratio is impressive. We are also able to access technical support from Hikvision’s European office in Amsterdam with excellent response levels and informed advice. At a major railway station with extensive subsystems there are many demands on bandwidth and RAID storage. These cameras make efficient use of the H.264 codec to compress video streams without compromising image quality. ”

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