SEPTA to install high-tech scanners that inspect overhead wires on Regional Rail

Photo credit Holli Stephens/KYW Newsradio
By KYW Newsradio

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — SEPTA is the first commuter rail operator in North America that is preparing to deploy new wire scanner technology, which will monitor its network of overhead wires on the Regional Rail.

SEPTA spokesperson Andrew Busch said new wire scanners will be acquired and installed on top of SEPTA work trains early next year.

“These are essentially small cameras and they’re going to be able to inspect the overhead wires — and these are the overhead wires that power the whole Regional Rail system,” he explained. “So we’re talking over 262-track miles.

“These cameras, they perform a detailed inspection and status of the wires throughout the system.”

Busch said the wire-inspection scanners will help to quickly identify trouble spots.

“These are priority areas to get to and fix,” he continued, “and this technology is going to allow us to do that in a much more efficient way, we think, than we would currently be doing with a more manual inspection process.”

The transit agency and its tech partner, Strukton Rail from Bethesda, Maryland, were recently awarded a $170,000 grant from the Federal Transit Administration to install and test the technology.