Rail Industry Innovation Awards

Posted on 29 Jun 2015

Metron2 and Metron VIEW formed the core of a digital fuel gauge solution that was a short listed finalist at the Modern Railway Innovation Awards at the Fourth Friday Club Dinner held on Friday 26th June. The solution was awarded 'highly commended' in the small projects category.

This outstanding project involved monitoring fuel levels on the Virgin Trains East Coast high speed fleet.Built between 1976 and 1984, there is no fuel gauge visible to the driver. Fuel is consumed even when trains are not moving. Occasionally unexpected delays to accommodate incidents and works on the line, poor driving techniques and human error meant that there wasn’t enough fuel to complete a journey as expected. This resulted in delayed, disgruntled passengers, heavy costs to manage the situation, possibly involving emergency services to ensure safety and order, negative publicity and fines.

Powelectrics hardware and software and units were rolled out to all trains. Readings are sent every 5 minutes, so for the first time Virgin management could see fuel levels in near real time. They are alerted when fuel levels were below the level required to complete journeys and advise drivers  to refuel according.

The princial speaker at the event was Clare Moriarty, Director General – Rail Executive at the Department for Transport. She explained how investment is currently made in innovation during the early years of a franchise but this investment needs to continue throughout it's whole life. To ensure this happens Train Operating Companies (TOC's) will now have to invest 1% of their revenue every year of the franchise on innovation. With the Metron products providing benefits not just financially, but also to customer safety and comfort, then we hope we can get further traction within this exciting sector.


The Metron 2 is an award winning, flexible, reliable and affordable range of GSM/GPRS telemetry devices, designed, developed and manufactured by Powelectrics. Metron 2 connects thousands of different sensors to the internet, giving you secure web based data access through a simple web browser, visible on a computer, tablet or smartphone and it can alert you when defined thresholds are crossed or a state has changed. Thousands of Metron 2 devices are deployed globally, monitoring data from many sensors including flow, level, pressure, temperature, vibration, noise, wind speed & direction, humidity, pH, contamination etc. They are often used for tank level measurement and for condition monitoring, to give early warning of equipment failure and prevent costly stoppages.
Devices are delivered ready to install with simple instructions and no programming experience is needed. Powelectrics can configure units prior to dispatch or remotely via our Metron View software and they are easily tested on site via the interactive display.

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MetronView  enables you to view data from your sensors on your computer, tablet or smartphone. Receive alarms, interface data into your software applications and remotely configure certain devices. MetronVIEW  is a web based data collection platform, designed and maintained by Powelectrics, for use with Metron4, MetronATEX, MetronR and other telemetry devices. As part of the industrial internet of things, MetronVIEW allows you to see current and historic data from thousands of different types of sensors, securely via a web browser. Data can be viewed as tables and graphs and MetronVIEW can also alert you when a defined threshold has been crossed or a state has changed or if a device has not reported in. There is no limit on the number of users and no limit to how much historical data can be stored. Powelectrics can establish multiple levels of data access within a MetronVIEW user's organisation, meaning that individuals or your own customers will only access the data that they are authorised to view.
MetronVIEW has been designed and is constantly evolving to maximise flexibility and ease of use. It can be used instantly, with no adaptation or it can be customised for your needs, creating bespoke reports and data exports and adding your corporate colours and logos. Using an API, MetronVIEW can interface with existing management & control systems, such as Navision, SAP, SCADA systems and more. Customers may purchase a licence to install MetronVIEW on their own servers.

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