George Acris, Marketing Director, Microlease says, “Railways are massively diverse in their use of technology. Safety is always paramount, but alongside there is the ever present and growing customer expectation of added value services such as Internet Access which needs to be continually satisfied. Systems that need to be maintained and continuously available extend from safety critical line power, signalling and communications systems to passenger service Wi-Fi and ticketing systems which have a very direct impact on revenue. The Internet of Things (IOT) provides opportunities for the railways to streamline their operations but adds a further layer of devices that communicate and need to be commissioned, monitored and repaired. Microlease is making its test experience accessible to all those in the railway industry responsible for maintaining those systems, helping them ensure that they always have access to the latest high performance test instruments that they need without the burden of maintaining and calibrating those instruments themselves."
The diversity of systems on the railway continues to grow, and ensuring that teams working on maintenance, repair, installation or commissioning projects have the right test tools to hand is a real challenge. Microlease has applied its experience of the instrumentation market to create Railway Tool Boxes to take the guesswork out of ensuring teams always have the correct electrical and electronic test gear to complete their tasks. The Tool Boxes can be applied to a wide range of systems, including signalling, communications, passenger services such as Wi-Fi in trains and stations, trackside surveillance, and self-service ticket machines.
Configured by Microlease experts who understand the challenges of the railway business and environment, the Tool Boxes shortcut the test-equipment procurement process and gives flexibility to tailor the equipment list to meet individual requirements. Microlease can provide a wide variety of equipment for testing items such as fibre installations, copper cables, control units, electrical actuators and drives, pumps, relays, and wireless equipment, which are used extensively throughout rail networks beside tracks as well as in stations, offices and depots, public areas, and on rolling stock. Examples of the kind of instruments that can be included are:
• Monitoring and managing the use of power is integral to the safe and economical operation of the railway. The Fluke 435 and Dranetz HDPQ to meet the special demands of the rail industry and enable installers to verify the power consumption of installed units, assess power quality, and troubleshoot interference coupled on power lines.
• Equipment to help ensure the health of copper cabling throughout rail signalling, communication, CCTV and telecom infrastructures. These include the Megger TDR-2000 for testing connection integrity and pinpointing faults, and the RadioDetection RD-8000 for locating cables that may be hidden underground, or in cavities or walls. For access work on copper access networks the Aten ACT6000 Advanced Communication Tester, covers all current DSL technologies as well as legacy protocols such as POTs, T1 E1 etc.
• Instruments to monitor trackside optical cables. OTDR equipment such as the Viavi MTS-4000 or Exfo FTB-1, which help verify signal-path integrity and identify the location of faults. These cables are particularly vulnerable to environmental stresses, such as vibration caused by passing trains which can lead to poor link performance resulting from high Polarization Mode Dispersion (PMD). The Exfo FTB-5500 PMD Analyser can identify these issues.
• Analysers to help visualise wireless network coverage such as the Fluke Networks Aircheck, and the Viavi JD-785 Base Station Test to test the specific GSM-R base stations. Systems like the Ascom TEMS Investigation or Rohde & Schwarz Romes, used with the TSMA scanner, help test cable-to-antenna connections and GSM/W-CDMA/LTE coverage.
• A broad selection of troubleshooting instruments like the Fluke Ti300 and Tix500 handheld infrared camera with LaserSharp® autofocus, the Fluke Connect® mobile app and connected tools. Customers can also support predictive maintenance initiatives with the aid of their Tool Box, taking advantage of equipment like the Fluke 810 vibration monitor which is ideal for detecting wear in machinery, as well as easy to use, flexible recorders like the Yokogawa DL850 or Sefram DAS 1400 for monitoring sensed data over time.
In addition to extensive choice and powerful equipment capabilities, the new Railway Tool Boxes deliver the affordability and convenience that comes with all Microlease rentals. Customers benefit from low up-front investment and freedom from equipment-maintenance overheads.
Microlease has been assessed and certified through the RISIQUE supplier scheme for the British and Irish rail industry (Certificate 15059). Through the Tool Box concept Microlease offers the railway industry access to the test instruments it needs on any basis from short term rental to leasing, ensuring that train and infrastructure operators can make the most effective use of their tight capital and operating expenditure budgets.
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