Thales installs thermal cameras at 108 Network Rail critical staff locations to monitor for Covid-19

  • Thales has installed thermal cameras at Network Rail’s critical staffing locations, with systems rolled out to over 100 sites across Britain to help protect staff and ensure business continuity
  • The thermal cameras monitor employees’ body temperatures on entry to site, to look for signs of COVID-19 fever symptoms
  • Video demonstration of technology available here 

Thales has rolled out the installation of thermal cameras at over 108 critical Network Rail staffing locations across Britain as a safety measure to help protect staff.

One of the key signs of COVID-19 is an elevated temperature, so by monitoring the body temperatures of staff to within a specific range on entry to site, the cameras are able to help detect and prevent the potential spread of the virus within Network Rail’s workforce. 

After two successful trials, installations commenced nationally. Initially, Network Rail and Thales planned to install 80 cameras, but news of the solution soon spread with additional sites being added daily. In ten weeks over the summer, 118 thermal imaging systems were rolled out across 108 sites and continue to be in operation.

New technology

The thermal detection solution provided combines a highly sensitive thermal imaging camera with calibration and monitoring equipment to ensure that raised temperatures in staff are detected. The technology gives an accurate indication of an individual’s body temperature to within +/- 0.3 °C, so that staff at critical sites can identify anyone potentially carrying the COVID-19 virus. This, in turn, minimises the risk of the virus being spread within critical operating locations, such as rail operating centres and other critical locations.

The cameras work in a wide range of light conditions and in real-time. On detection of a temperature over a designated threshold, the system alerts the individual to take appropriate action. It is based on proven camera technology in use at locations internationally and is capable of measuring the temperature of up to 30 people simultaneously.

A speedy response

Building confidence with the technology was key to ensuring buy in from those that would be operating and those that would be subject to scans by the system. Initially, one Network Rail office was selected as a trial site, but this expanded to two locations in order to build user confidence. Both trials were up and running within three days of the project going ahead. 

Following an initial tender request from Network Rail's Research & Development Portfolio, the Thales team quickly rolled into action. From the issue of the request for the proposal and submission of a response, to Network Rail’s evaluation of the various offers and completion of a trial, the whole process was complete within less than two weeks. In a normal environment this would have taken months 
David Taylor, Network Rail Account Manager, Thales

About Thales 
Thales (Euronext Paris: HO) is a global technology leader shaping the world of tomorrow today. The Group provides solutions, services and products to customers in the aeronautics, space, transport, digital identity and security, and defence markets. With 83,000 employees in 68 countries, Thales generated sales of €19 billion in 2019.

Thales is investing in particular in digital innovations — connectivity, Big Data, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity — technologies that support businesses, organisations and governments in their decisive moments.