In the famed Harry Potter movies, when the young wizard, Harry, begins each new school year he catches the Hogwarts Express, which departs from platform 9¾ at King’s Cross station in London. Visit King’s Cross today and you will see signs for J. K. Rowling’s fictional platform.
But it is behind the scenes that the real magic is happening.
The historic station opened in 1852. Each year, 47 million pedestrians – muggles, if you will – pass through this significant interchange. Following a major refurbishment, an iconic new concourse opened in March 2012. The station already had a robust security infrastructure, but improving the quality and performance of those security systems was a major consideration during the re-development project.
One of the biggest challenges in this modern security and surveillance operation was making all of the systems and subsystems work in unison. That is where the NICE Situation Management solution (NICE Situator) has come to the fore.
Like a bubbling cauldron in which the perfect potion is created, NICE Situator is able to take all the required ingredients for effective security and routine operations and blend them together into a single, standardized interface. At King’s Cross, the magic happens in a centralized control room where all security, safety and operational systems are monitored, including CCTV, access control, fire, audio communications, help-points, customer information and public address systems. Security alerts from each system are immediately flagged on-screen so the operator can take the appropriate course of action based on predetermined processes, whether it involves co-ordinating ground staff, making an announcement, or engaging with third-party organizations such as emergency services or police.
Network Rail is the company that runs, owns and maintains King’s Cross station and Project Manager, Brendan O’Keeffe comments: “As operators only need to use one interface, the initial training needed to get operators accustomed to the new system was minimal, which means we can get new operators up to speed far quicker. It also means that they can focus more on using their surveillance skills.”
Having a central system has also improved the speed and efficiency with which the control room can share vital information with train operators, British Transport Police and other emergency services, to coordinate effective responses to incidents and improve service to the travelling public.
“We have far more insight into what is going on throughout the station complex,” explains O’Keeffe. “We can now investigate areas where people have fallen, or places where people are asking for directions, which may indicate a need for better signage. This is an important consideration as we are measured on public perception.”
You can read the full story published on Info4Security at:http://www.info4security.com/story.asp?sectioncode=11&storycode=4129489&c=1