A pioneering Hampshire company has won a place on the UK’s first Innovation Hub for cutting-edge railway technology of the future.
FliteTrak is among the SMEs handpicked by rolling stock operating company Porterbrook for its project to fast-track new ideas and accelerate passenger service improvements.
Porterbrook, which supplies trains and carriages to major rail franchises, has converted a four-car class 319 train to create the Innovation Hub.
The hub’s first public exhibition will be at Rail Live 2019 on June 19 to 20 in Long Marston, Warwickshire.
FliteTrak, with sites in Amersham and Lee on the Solent, will be showcasing its intelligent remote monitoring ViatorRail technology on the Hub.
Managing director Andrew Barnett said: “We’ll be installing ViatorRail on the Innovation Hub to show its capabilities in a ‘real’ train environment.
“It is already being used by a major rail franchise to track engine temperatures and performance but we’re looking forward to demonstrating all of its other applications too.
“We’re very grateful to Porterbrook for this superb opportunity to showcase our innovative technology and to be able to mix with likeminded businesses on the Hub.”
ViatorRail, which is based on award-winning iblox smart technology invented by Mr Barnett, can monitor vibration, shock, voltage, current and pressure as well as live train movements in real time.
Some of its applications include saloon monitoring, engine performance, door operation, sanitation unit functions and sander status.
Porterbrook intends for the Innovation Hub to be used by SMEs which play an integral role in the UK rail industry’s supply chain, but face barriers to entry.
The Hub will focus on environmentally friendly manufacturing processes, improved passenger facilities, new uses of data and connectivity, and system monitoring.
Porterbrook chief executive Mary Grant said: “As an industry steeped in heritage, it’s essential that we keep our fingers on the pulse of new technology and customer needs, and this is something that we at Porterbrook put at the core of what we do.”
FliteTrak will be among up to 25 businesses on the Innovation Hub at Rail Live.
Its head office is in Amersham, Buckinghamshire and its Innovations Hub is at Daedalus Park, Lee on the Solent, Hampshire.