Utilising bespoke access control solutions to enhance rail transport security

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Catherine Laug, Group Head of Marketing at Locken highlights the security challenges within rail transport and explains how bespoke access control solutions can help mitigate these.

What are the main concerns surrounding security and access control within rail transport?

The transport sector is vulnerable to safety and security risks, particularly railways and train lines. The main priority is to ward off any malicious intrusion attempts and potentially devastating consequences.

The sheer size of the infrastructure within this industry is much greater than any other, with hundreds of miles of fencing along railway lines and thousands of gates requiring high levels of protection. However, there is more to major rail transport infrastructure than miles of fencing alongside a railway track. They are also made up of electrical substations, technical installations (lifts, ventilation systems, pumps, etc) and tunnel shafts for aeration purposes. These outdoor facilities are at the mercy of our ever-changing weather conditions, be it extreme sunshine, snow or rain and they can sometimes be located a long distance from the electrical grid, such as in the case of railway tunnel shafts. This exposes them to a risk of corrosion and intrusion.

Another challenge involves dealing with unforeseen incidents, such as fires and passenger accidents. It is essential that the emergency services can reach the site of the incident unimpeded when necessary.

What are the access control requirements?

All areas within the rail infrastructure need tailored access control solutions, which meet the requirements of each location and user.

Given the complexity of the infrastructure, composed of sprawling or isolated sites and including tunnels and railway emergency exits, locks without cable are mandatory. Easy installation and minimal maintenance are also required. It means that the keys must supply the required power and access rights to the cylinder.  

As service quality is an issue, a seamless, standardised access control solution is needed to allow maintenance companies and staff easy access to the right place at the right time.

How does Locken work with the rail industry to mitigate challenges?

We provide a bespoke approach when working with all industries, in order to meet the individual needs of each organisation and business sector. We are committed to delivering the best solution, based on our state-of-the-art access management software and latest-generation induction electronic key. This contactless technology allows instant opening of the cylinders and unrivalled durability. The cylinders are also compatible with mechanical locks, which may prove useful when accessing less sensitive areas. A single electronic key with the necessary access rights can open a vast number of locks and replace cumbersome bunches of keys. This frees up technicians when opening gates or moving between sites.

How flexible is Locken’s electronic access control solution?

All keys are controlled by the same software and managers can accurately configure each key according to the users. Any openings or attempted break-ins are logged in the electronic key’s memory and sent to the central software.

The Bluetooth version of the key offers even greater control, as access rights can also be updated on site using a smartphone and MyLocken mobile app. This approach ties in with increasingly strict security policies.

How do you ensure the reliability and robustness of the solution?

Our electronic key has the IP 66-67-68-69 rating, meaning it’s designed to protect against intrusion from foreign bodies and pressurised water jets and particularly hardy in the event of damp, rain and dust. The cutting-edge contactless induction technology prevents any poor communication caused by corrosion.

The cylinders have CEN 1303 certification, which guarantees their resistance to drilling and vandalism.

How does the solution deal with unforeseen incidents such as fires and passenger accidents ? 

The electronic access control solution comes with a backup key configured with unlimited rights. This gives the fire brigade and police round-the-clock access to all areas, with no need to update access rights.


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