AN Ulverston firm has created a new system that will be used across the UK rail network to make them more reliable.

Network Rail has approved Bender UK’s RS4 Tier 1 intelligent insulation monitoring system for use across the UK rail network, to meet Tier 1, 2 and 3 requirements of NR/L2/SIGELP/27725.

Developed collaboratively with Network Rail in response to standard NR/L2/SIGELP/27725, the RS4 system is designed to reduce maintenance and service failures, improve staff safety by minimising trackside intervention (‘boots on ballast’), and effectively prevent system down time.

Bender’s Tier 1 solution is the only system capable of separately reporting on the insulation status and performance of the switchgear and cable. This enables the service team to identify any part of the power system, switchgear, or cable not complying with SIGELP/50000 and gives them the maximum time to rectify the fault cost effectively.

More than 80 per cent of rail electrical power supply issues result from core-to-earth faults, and Bender UK is the only approved supplier to be able to locate these types of faults with their rail signal power monitoring technology, specifically designed to pinpoint and locate earth faults on the UK’s rail infrastructure.

Full product acceptance (PA05/07464) of RS4 Tier 1 was achieved in May 2022 following live trials of RS4 Tier 1 equipment, conducted at multiple locations in partnership with Network Rail. RS4 Tier 1 increases the functionality level of the RS4 insulation monitoring to provide accurate individual cable section and FSP switchgear level insulation resistances.

Earlier identification of emerging power system faults and more accurate fault location technology gives a longer window to rectify faults before they become critical, and RS4 is the only approved Tier 1 solution that doesn’t require trackside connection to 650V for safer and more cost-effective installation without the need to switch off power.

This unique solution enables unobtrusive working with dual end fed reconfigurable systems, so that in the reconfigured state, monitoring can be changed to match the new systems without trackside intervention.

All RS4 products can be procured directly from Bender UK, or quickly and efficiently through iStore on PA05/07464 and deliver the most cost-effective solution for upgrading previous generation Bender rail technology with simple onsite mechanical and wiring modifications.

Tier 1 approval enables the opportunity for retrofits and upgrades to Tier 2 and 3 systems, as well as bespoke projects, providing a solution to suit all requirements.

Bender UK offers a full range of managed support services designed to offer the best strategic fit and greatest value for money for the rail industry, balancing benefits with affordability to improve the efficiency of rail network maintenance, enhance safety and reduce operating costs for the network.

These include remote condition monitoring technologies designed to integrate seamlessly with future smart infrastructure, and advanced analysis of the data collected by monitoring Bender and third-party devices to identify trends and minimise the risk of failure, power loss and shutdown.