Overhead rail power line failures sidestepped

Train delays from overhead power line problems could soon be a thing of the past. Researchers at City University London are working on an early warning system that will flag […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Train delays from overhead power line problems could soon be a thing of the past. Researchers at City University London are working on an early warning system that will flag up defects before they escalate and cause major, costly failures called ‘dewirements’.

City’s Professors Ken Grattan and Tong Sun have got £102,000 in funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to develop the prototype optical sensors, which will measure the strain and temperature on power lines.

Professor Tong Sun said that spotting potential for significant dewirements, which happen roughly five times a year in the UK, could save the industry and the economy “many millions of pounds.”