Train Derailment Spurred Evacuation of Kentucky Town

A chemical fire caused by a train derailment in Kentucky has been extinguished. People had been encouraged to evacuate but now are able to return to their homes, according to rail operator CSX late last week.

“The fire is completely out.” CSX spokesperson Bryan Tucker said in an statement. The train derailed on Wednesday November 23, at about 2:30 p.m. The incident occurred near Livingston, Kentucky.

CSX were worked to clear the train cars and material at the site. The derailment and spilled chemicals started a chemical fire earlier in the week and prompted evacuations in the small town.

State officials said Friday they were monitoring the air for traces of hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide, but so far there had been none detected at the derailment site or the nearby town of Livingston since Thursday morning. The fire was extinguished on Thursday.

“We’re now able to get in and begin safely removing cars,” Joe McCann, director of emergency management and hazardous materials for CSX, said at a briefing Friday. He said an access road was built to reach the derailment area and the crashed train cars were removed.

Savox Communications Introduces Innovative Hearing Protection Solution

Savox Communications, provider of mission-critical hearing protection and communication solutions, announced the latest addition to its acclaimed Noise-Com (NC) 500 series – the Savox NC- 520XP hearing protection headsets. Designed to meet the needs of professionals working in the most demanding environments, the NC-520XP sets new industry standards by combining safety, innovation and reliability.

In noisy work environments, protecting one’s hearing is paramount, but it should never come at the cost of situational awareness and effective communication. The Savox NC-500 series is a frontrunner in delivering top-notch acoustic protection and reliable communication solutions in challenging conditions. With the launch of the Savox NC-520XP, this product family introduces ground breaking features that cater to a wide range of work settings, offering an ideal solution for professionals facing the most demanding tasks.

The Savox NC-520XP hearing protection headsets enhance Savox’s product offering by incorporating Savox Dual Bluetooth, a feature that sets them apart from other NC-500 series models. The ability to connect two Bluetooth devices simultaneously, in most cases a radio and a mobile phone, enables hands-free communication and allows users to listen to radio transmissions and still be reachable. The noise-cancelling Push-to-Talk (PTT) boom microphone ensures crystal-clear speech even in the loudest of environments. The headsets also feature a user-friendly answer button and rotary switch for convenient control of ambient sound volume and incoming communication. With a rechargeable power unit designed for maximum durability, the Savox NC-520XP headsets represent a significant leap forward in on-site safety, providing reachability, usability and reliability.

Key benefits of the Savox NC-520XP hearing protection headsets:

– Bluetooth: The NC-520 models offer Savox Dual Bluetooth, allowing users to connect two devices simultaneously.
– Ambient Sound: Stay aware of your surroundings while protecting your hearing.
– Ambient Audio Profiles: Available in the XP models for personalized audio settings.
– Easy Access Rotary Button: Conveniently control PTT and ambient sound volume.
– Built-in Rechargeable Battery: Ensure extended use and cost-effective operation.
– Unique Casting Technique: Protects electronics, ensuring maximum reliability.
– Voice-Prompted Menu: User-friendly interface for easy navigation.
– Professional Two-Way Radio PTT Compatibility: Seamlessly integrate with your existing communication systems.
– Noise-Canceling Boom Microphone: Exceptional speech clarity in noisy environments.
– Low Battery Warning and Automatic Switch-Off: Never miss an important communication.
– Made in Finland.

Savox says their NC-520XP hearing protection headsets redefine the standards for hearing protection and communication in challenging work environments. Savox says their commitment to innovation and quality help these headsets “empower professionals to work more safely and efficiently, while ensuring the utmost protection for their hearing.”

LMI Secures $604 Million U.S. Border Patrol Task Order

LMI has been awarded a one-year base period and four, one-year options task order for a ceiling value of $604 million to support the U.S. Border Patrol’s Program Management Office Directorate (USBP PMOD), marking the largest contract award in LMI’s more than 60-year history. 

LMI will be responsible to support USBP PMOD as it modernizes and expands its technology capabilities across the Southern and Northern Borders to help ensure migrant safety, facilitate commerce, interdict human and drug trafficking, and protect all Americans from terrorism. Some of the services that LMI will provide USBP PMOD include program management, lifecycle logistics management, technical and engineering support, and environmental planning support. This task order expands LMI’s support to include all of USBP Headquarter Directorates: Strategic Planning and Analysis Directorate, Law Enforcement Operations Directorate, Mission Support Directorate, and the Chief of Staff’s Office.

“This pivotal milestone in LMI history is a testament to the exceptional service we provide for our customers. We remain committed to continuously exceeding expectations in support of PMOD’s crucial mission and delivering innovative solutions at the pace of need,” said Doug Wagoner, LMI’s chief executive officer.

Charged with ensuring exceptional customer service satisfaction and delivery of LMI’s PMOD mission, Scott Recinos, LMI’s senior vice president, homeland security market, said, “We are honored to expand our work across USBP headquarters in pursuit of its goal of a responsive and efficient organization that supports agents in the field as they carry out their critical national security mission.” 

K2 Construction Consultants Wins $253 Million DHS Radiation Portal Monitor Deployment, Construction and Design Contract

K2 Construction Consultants has been awarded a five-year, indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract with a ceiling value of approximately $253 million by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office (CWMD) to deploy technology designed to detect and prevent nuclear and radiological material or devices from entering the United States. K2 partnered with Parsons Corporation and Culmen International to win the Radiation Portal Monitor Program (RPMP) Deployment contract.

The K2 team will deploy radiation portal monitors (RPM) across the US-Mexico and US-Canada borders and at international airports, seaports, and global postal facilities, in support of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

“We are excited to expand our support of DHS to the CWMD mission from our many Transportation Security Administration (TSA) programs installing security screening systems and technology,” said Paul Krogh, chief executive officer of K2 Construction Consultants, Inc. “The team brings extraordinary capabilities and wide-ranging expertise for the development of threat reduction systems, integration of security screening technologies, as well as program and logistics management, procurement, and construction.”

“The critical importance of preventing nuclear and radiological material from entering the United States cannot be overstated,” said Jon Moretta, president, Engineered Systems for Parsons. “Working closely with K2, Culmen and DHS, we look forward to deploying technologies to help ensure the continued protection of American citizens and success of the RPMP mission.”

The K2 team will perform site surveys and designs, equipment installation, configuration management, and commissioning.

“Culmen’s capabilities and experience provides the Government with unique resources and expertise needed to fulfil the CWMD RPMP mission,” said Dan Berkon, CEO of Culmen International. “Culmen is proud to be part of the K2 team enhancing US and international security by implementing radiation portal monitoring solutions at critical sites.”

“We have assembled the strongest team in the industry to execute this important mission for CWMD,” said Paul Krogh. “K2, Parsons and Culmen are ideally positioned because of our exceptional track records with DHS, TSA and CBP.”

Arriva Chooses Box for Cloud Content Management

Box, Inc. announced recently that Arriva, a British Multinational Public Transport Company, selected Box as its secure, integrated platform for cloud content management across its distributed workforce operations. Part of Deutsche Bahn, Arriva is a leading provider of passenger transport across Europe, employing around 35,000 people and delivering around 1.2 billion passenger journeys across ten European countries. Arriva uses Box to provide a central online location for CCTV footage, making it easier to search and share valuable evidence with public authorities.

“At Arriva, we pride ourselves on connecting people and communities safely, reliably and sustainably through our public transport services. Technology is central to how we work and we are pleased to partner with Box as part of our digital transformation strategy and modernization of our CCTV systems,” said Dushyant Bhardwaj, head of Solution Architecture at Arriva. “Working with Box, we are able to respond quickly and work in partnership with public authorities to help support the long-term reduction of incidents.”

“We are delighted to partner with Arriva, whose services are pivotal to public transport networks in the U.K. and Europe,” said Sebastien Marotte, president of EMEA at Box. “We are thrilled that Box helps Arriva to better partner and securely share sensitive information with public authorities such as the Metropolitan Police. We look forward to our continued partnership as Arriva expands its use of the Box Content Cloud for wider use across its workforce and corporate functions.”

Arriva first became a Box customer in 2020. Since then, the company has expanded its use of Box to the full suite of Content Cloud products and capabilities included in the Enterprise Plus offering, enabling Arriva to:

  • Securely manage sensitive information and CCTV footage on one centralized content management platform.
  • Efficiently share confidential information with public authorities from anywhere in a time-sensitive manner.
  • Meet transportation compliance requirements for document retention policies with Box Governance.
  • Integrate with existing ecosystems, including the technology platforms for CCTV monitoring.
More Night Trains With Deutsche Bahn and ÖBB Expanding Cross-Border

More Night Trains With Deutsche Bahn and ÖBB Expanding Cross-Border

Rail transport between Germany and Austria is booming. By the end of the year, Deutsche Bahn (DB) and Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) expect about 40% more passengers than five years ago. The two companies are therefore further expanding cross-border long-distance service between the countries.

“The shift to rail is continuing unabated,” says Stefanie Berk, member of the DB Fernverkehr Management Board for Marketing. “More and more people in Germany and Austria are taking the climate-friendly train when they travel to neighboring countries. We want to boost growth even further with new trains, more comfort and convenience, and more connections. This can only be achieved through a joint effort by the rail companies involved. We’re responding to this growing demand by expanding the international timetable in close cooperation with ÖBB.”

Dr. Sabine Stock, ÖBB executive board member for Passenger Transport says, “By 2030, we want to double the number of passengers on Nightjet trains. Deutsche Bahn plays an important role since many Nightjet lines begin and end in Germany. The new connections from Berlin to Paris and Brussels and the new generation of Nightjet trains in Germany are sending a strong signal of DB’s and ÖBB’s confidence in night train service and intentions to expand the portfolio.”

The timetable change in December will add another ICE connection between Berlin and Vienna via Nuremberg. Extending the route to Hamburg will also give the major northern German city another daily connection to the Austrian capital. Beginning in December, DB and ÖBB will also be offering an ICE journey from Berlin to Innsbruck and back via Frankfurt and Stuttgart every day, instead of only on weekends. In the future, long-distance trains will connect Munich and Salzburg once an hour between around 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. Daily trains will connect Innsbruck and Munich every two hours between 6:40 a.m. and 9:40 p.m.

ÖBB and DB are also stepping up their investment in new trains. Beginning with the timetable change, ICE 4 trains will be used on the Frankfurt–Munich–Salzburg–Klagenfurt route, ensuring greater comfort, convenience and reliability on long-distance journeys. The new generation of Railjets, which will gradually be introduced on the route between Munich and Italy beginning April 2024, will also provide higher quality and more seats. The brand-new and ultra-modern trains offer ICE-level comfort and convenience.

ÖBB and DB are also expanding their night service partnership. The two companies will begin offering Nightjet connections from Berlin and Vienna to Paris and Brussels this December. These connections will initially run three times a week, then daily beginning in the fall of 2024. This will double the number of Nightjet connections available in Berlin.

From the turn of the year 2023/24, the completely new ÖBB Nightjet trains will be in service for the first time. They will first be used on the Hamburg-Vienna and Hamburg-Innsbruck connections. These new Nightjets, which can travel up to 230 km/h, offer a new level of comfort and convenience, including individual cabins (Mini Cabins) in the couchette car and level boarding for people with restricted mobility. Further connections in Austria, Germany and Italy will follow in the course of 2024.

Veridas Voice Biometrics Now Available on Genesys AppFoundry

A Spanish technology company specializing in digital identity and biometrics, announced its Voice Biometrics Solution is now available on the Genesys AppFoundry, a marketplace of solutions offering a curated selection of applications and integrations that elevate customer and employee experiences.

With Veridas Voice Biometrics, Genesys says customers can easily identify their users in as little as three seconds.

As a 100% proprietary solution, Veridas Voice Biometric revolutionizes call center authentication with real-time voice recognition. Swift and secure, and powered by top-class NIST-rated algorithms, Veridas replaces lengthy knowledge-based verification methods with passive identity verification, utilizing a text and language-independent solution that provides a seamless customer experience.

“Veridas brings a paradigm shift to the contact center industry,” says Ignacio del Castillo, head of strategic partnerships, Veridas. “Our clients benefit from reducing Average Handling Time (AHT) by 60-90 seconds while increasing client satisfaction and Net Promoter Score (NPS). In today’s digital landscape, ensuring the security of customer interactions is paramount. From just a simple, 3-second conversation, Veridas can accurately address customers by name, guaranteeing their true identity and mitigating the risk of fraudulent activities. With Veridas’ breakthrough capabilities, businesses can confidently embrace a new era of contact center operations, combining efficiency, customer satisfaction, and enhanced security.”

Veridas developed an integration of its Voice Biometrics solution in Genesys Cloud CX to provide customers with a secure and streamlined authentication experience while reducing fraud and improving operational efficiency in contact centers, both in IVR and live-agent interactions. In 2021, BBVA, a global financial giant, successfully integrated Veridas voice biometrics through Genesys to authenticate customers. According to Miguel Villaumbrales, Head of Digital Identity at BBVA, “People readily embrace biometrics when it addresses their needs – something Veridas’ technology has accomplished.”

Veridas application is now available with Genesys Cloud CX, an all-in-one composable solution that helps organizations offer frictionless and connected customer and employee experiences. As a modern, API-first experience orchestration platform, Genesys Cloud CX enables organizations to coordinate every interaction and touchpoint through a full suite of omnichannel options, built-in employee experience, turnkey AI and end-to-end journey optimization.

Explosive Vapor Detectors (EVD) Ready To Be Implemeted for Air Cargo Screening at ECAC Level

Air Cargo Screening is mandatory in accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), however, it is a complex and expensive activity, mainly because current technologies, mainly EDD (Explosive Detection Dogs) and X-Rays (imaging), don’t fulfill the requirements demanded by the air cargo operators in terms of detection performances (low DR: Detection Rate and high FAR: False Alarm Rate), throughout and versatility, consequently, the screening costs are high and the process is very slow because it requires a lot of manual handling with the need of big warehouses and the involvement of many trained operators.

Even though this fact is well known by security authorities, they are not interested in publicly sharing the details of the inefficient operation in air cargo screening for obvious security reasons, however, TSA reported in 2015 a “95 percent failure rate to detect explosives, weapons, and illegal drugs ” where similar screening technologies are implemented, although the target is different (people vs cargo).
MION, a Spanish-based technological company, has been working on the development of new screening technologies based on vapor detection since 2005, and after almost 20 years of working on the technology and the protocol certification in collaboration with the most relevant EU test centers and security policymakers. Finally, the ECAC (European Civil Aviation Conference) has approved the implementation of EVDs (Explosive Vapor Detectors) for air cargo screening in January 2023 according to the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2022/566 of 10 March 2023, amending Implementing Regulation (EU) No 2015/1998 as regards certain detailed measures for the implementation of the common basic standards on aviation security (OJ L 74, 13.3.2023, p. 47).

This is a great advance for aviation security since the level of security will significantly improve and the screening processes will be simplified and cheapened because EVD technology has several benefits. In particular, VPSCAN, the EVD developed by MION, has a Detection Rate higher than 90% and a FAR lower than 2%, has the capacity to detect in bulk mode (complete trucks and containers without the need of unloading the cargo), it is versatile with the capacity to adapt it to many scenarios like pallets, boxes, mail, etc, the database can be as large as needed, it is fully non-intrusive, the results are generated automatically without the need of interpretation from one operator and the complete analysis is done in 6 minutes for a complete truck.
The EVD process is divided into separated 2 operations: i) sampling where an operator takes an air sample from the target container/truck/pallet/skid in 2-4 minutes depending on the size, and ii) analysis in which the collecting filter is automatically analyzed in another 3 minutes.

The air cargo sector is in great luck and EVD is the screening solution that freight forwarders, air cargo operators, and airlines are waiting for a long time, as the director of one cargo screening company at Heathrow Airport says: “EVDs will make our life in a dream”

Smiths Detection Launches New Dual-View X-ray Scanners

Smiths Detection announced that it has launched the SDX 100100 DV series, comprising of two dual-view X-ray scanners.

The SDX 100100 DV HC features a high conveyor and is specifically designed to meet the needs of airports, parcel services, carriers, customs facilities, and other high security environments, while the low conveyor model SDX 100100 DV LC supports screening oversized baggage and break-bulk freight reaching up to 100 x 100cm in size. 

Harnessing the power of dual-view X-ray technology, the scanners provide a horizontal and vertical view of the screened object, facilitating reliable inspections of tightly packed objects and shortening inspection times. Both versions are available with either a 0.2 m/s or 0.5 m/s belt speed, delivering high throughput for a faster and more efficient screening process, without compromising safety. 

Any of the SDX 100100 DV configurations can be easily integrated into external material handling systems as well as into one intelligent network that allows Central Image Processing. The new hardware and software provide best in class image quality for increased operational efficiency. To further enhance security outcomes, the scanners can be supplemented with Smiths Detection’s automated threat detection software for weapons and lithium batteries, iCMORE. 

“We are thrilled to launch the SDX 100100 DV series, further enhancing our family of security screening technology,” said Dr. Philo Daniel, global director aviation and urban security from Smiths Detection. “The range of configurations help to meet specific user requirements and regardless of model, provide efficient, accurate screening solutions that can be easily integrated and, crucially, deliver the highest security outcomes.”

Train Derailment Kills 30 In Pakistan

Thirty people were killed and at least 90 others were injured when the Hazara Express train derailed in Pakistan Sunday, August 6. The train departed Karachi in the southern part of the country and was traveling to Havelian in the northern part of the country.

Local workers, paramilitary troops and railway workers teamed to pull the injured passengers from the wreckage. Bodies of the deceased were pulled out as well and taken to a hospital.

The derailment caused the tracks from Karachi, both inbound and outbound, to be closed. A relief train was sent to assist, according to railways minister, Khawaja Saad Rafique, said.