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25 Oct 2023

Southeastern to introduce automated train inspection technology

Southeastern to introduce automated train inspection technology: Automated Vehicle Inspection

  • Contract signed with Siemens Mobility and Eversholt Rail for innovative Automated Vehicle Inspection (AVI) programme
  • Fully integrated and technically advanced, the new data-driven system will help to improve safety, performance and maintenance efficiency
  • System to be installed at Ramsgate train maintenance facility where joint project team will be based

As part of its ongoing programme to improve train performance and deliver better journeys for its customers, Southeastern has teamed up with Siemens Mobility and Eversholt Rail to develop a fully automated vehicle inspection system.

The new technology will be installed at the Ramsgate train maintenance facility, and it will use a series of high sensitivity cameras and optical laser sensors to collect and analyse data about the condition of the Mainline fleet.

AVI will check each train’s brake pads, collector shoes, wheel profiles, as well as the wheel tread thickness. It will also run underframe inspections to ensure everything is in good working order.

The mass of data captured by AVI will allow Southeastern to run a more efficient on-demand maintenance programme by not carrying out work that isn’t needed. It means targeted maintenance rather than automatic changes after a set mileage.

It also helps to improve safety by running consistent measurement and component assessments that can send out immediate safety alerts, as well a 48-hour forecast of failures.

Mark Johnson, Southeastern’s Engineering Director, said:

“We’re always looking at how we can deliver a more reliable and sustainable railway to give better journeys for our customers, and running a fully automated vehicle inspection system certainly helps us to do that.

“Siemens Mobility have considerable experience with this technology across the rail industry and I’m very much looking forward to seeing what this partnership can achieve.”

John Butler, Siemens Mobility UKI Head of Customer Service for Rail Infrastructure, said:

“We’re happy to be partnering with Southeastern as they introduce this automaticvehicle inspection technology. The technology will provide detailed information on each train in the fleet which can then be used to reduce maintenance time in the depot, ensuring the trains can continue to run reliably.”

The system design is set to begin at the end of this year. Construction will begin in mid-2024 and the automated inspections are then scheduled to get underway in 2025.

Paul Sutherland, Eversholt Rail’s Client Services Director, said:

“We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Southeastern and Siemens Mobility to develop this automatic vehicle inspection technology for use on our fleets of trains.  This further investment in our Southeastern fleets demonstrates the importance of providing an improved travelling experience for customers in the South East”. 

Contact information

Southeastern Press Office

0330 095 9091

Notes to editors

About Southeastern

SOUTHEASTERN is owned by SE Trains Ltd, a subsidiary of the Department for Transport’s public sector owning group, ‘DOHL’. DOHL has responsibility for four rail companies, LNER, Northern Trains Limited, TransPennine Trains Limited and SE Trains.

Southeastern is the trading name of SE TRAINS LIMITED. Registered in England under company 03266762. Registered office address: Second Floor, 4 More London Riverside, London SE1 2AU.

SE Trains Limited is a subsidiary of the Department for Transport’s Operator of Last Resort Limited - ‘DOHL’.

About Siemens Mobility

Siemens Mobility is a separately managed company of Siemens AG. As a leader in intelligent transport solutions for more than 175 years, Siemens Mobility is constantly innovating its portfolio. Its core areas include rolling stock, rail automation and electrification, a comprehensive software portfolio, turnkey systems as well as related services. With digital products and solutions, Siemens Mobility is enabling mobility operators worldwide to make infrastructure intelligent, increase value sustainably over the entire lifecycle, enhance passenger experience and guarantee availability. In fiscal year 2022, which ended on September 30, 2022, Siemens Mobility posted revenue of €9.7 billion and had around 38,200 people worldwide. Further information is available at

About Eversholt Rail

Eversholt Rail owns UK passenger and freight rolling stock and has more than 25 years’ experience in the rail industry. Eversholt Rail has invested more than £3bn in new trains since privatisation and continually invests in its existing fleets to maintain quality and reliability to deliver a better passenger and operator experience.

Eversholt Rail has a proud history of innovation and plays an integral role in the growth and modernisation of the UK rail sector by introducing new products and technologies into the market.

Further information can be obtained on


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