Transport for Wales (TfW) and One Big Circle in the UK have partnered to install smart cameras on trains on the Wales and Borders routes to record, analyse and report vegetation risks.
It will be the first time technology has been used in this manner in the rail industry.
The Automated Intelligent Video Review system (AIVR) is located within the windscreen of the train cab and records video data and other telemetry automatically when the train is in operation on the route.
The camera will measure the infrastructure changes when the train operates on the route. Changes in vegetation can be monitored using an early warning heatmap to redirect resources.
Issues such as hazardous leaf fall, signal sighting and intrusive growth can be proactively managed.
In cases where a tree leans closer to the track due to wind damage, the technology is also capable of alerting the management team before any incident happens.
The data will be collected and transmitted using 4G and can be accessed via the Cloud.
TfW Seasonal planning Manager Rick Fisher said: “Our services run over more than 1,000 miles of track so staying up to date with changes to the environment is crucial to running a safe and reliable railway for our customers.
“This technology is a huge leap forward for us and will allow us to work closely with our partners in Network Rail to deal with challenges as they emerge.”
TfW safety and assurance director Leyton Powell said: “We’re the first train operator in the UK to deploy the AIVR system on our routes and we’re delighted to be at forefront of using this innovative technology.
“With the management of the Core Valley Lines infrastructure shortly coming under TfW, we really think this could make a huge difference to the way we respond to create massive customer, safety and performance benefits.”