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Amtrak to Help Protect Maintenance Facilities with Cisco’s IP-Based Video Surveillance


SAN JOSE, Calif.- Cisco today announced that Amtrak, the premier provider of intercity passenger rail services, will deploy the Cisco® Video Surveillance System to better protect its Los Angeles and Oakland maintenance yards in California. The Cisco Video Surveillance System, a core component of Cisco’s Physical Security Solution, works in unison with the advanced features and functions of the Internet Protocol (IP) network infrastructure to provide Amtrak with easy access to video feeds at any time from virtually any place, enabling real-time incident response, investigation and resolution.

Historically, physical security systems were used to simply compile and collect data for possible retrieval and review only after an incident took place. With this new solution, Amtrak will be able to converge its physical security system over an IP network of fiber backbones and wireless access points to remotely monitor and detect a host of suspicious activities through a variety of tools such as command and control and video analytics. These technologies will help enable Amtrak to better understand potential threats in real time versus having to rely on critical information after an incident has occurred.

The central element of this new architecture is Cisco’s Video Surveillance Manager, a software solution that authenticates and manages access to video feeds, it provides virtual matrix switching to connect cameras, keyboards and monitors, and it can store video files and recall them for display on either analog monitors or PCs.

Amtrak selected systems integrator Consiliant Technologies to implement the physical security system due to the company’s deep technical knowledge of advanced physical security technologies, including Cisco products.

“Physical security and IT are converging at a much faster rate than anyone anticipated. We were well-positioned to meet Amtrak’s challenges because we are one of a handful of IT companies that has truly focused on physical security,” said Kevin Dailey, vice president of Consiliant’s IP Physical Security Group. “There are too many threats to be managed in old-fashioned ways. Amtrak is looking forward with this design.”

Consiliant selected leading Physical Security providers Proximex and Agent VI to further enhance monitoring and incident response as key elements of the integrated solution. A Command and Control system for policy-based incident discovery, connection and resolution from Proximex will provide a complete picture of all monitored security activity in a single view in real time - relieving security officers from trying to watch all the consoles in the security center at the same time. In addition, Amtrak will deploy embedded video analytic software from Agent VI that will provide 7 x 24 coverage of a facility that measures one mile by one eighth of a mile. Both Proximex and Agent VI technologies are integrated and are designed to be interoperable using the Cisco Video Surveillance platform.

“Amtrak wanted to install a system that uses technology to proactively prevent intrusions, rather than just document the breaches after the fact. The IP-centric model will allow authorized Amtrak employees full access to the video data, whether they are on-site or at headquarters in Washington D.C.,” said Cassim Mamoon, Amtrak senior project manager. “Consiliant’s choice of the Cisco Video Surveillance Manager gave us the assurance we needed that today’s investment will be protected and enhanced over the years ahead.”

The Los Angeles and Oakland facilities will also offer back up coverage to each other to help ensure no emergency condition can render the system ineffective. This connection will provide adequate fail-over in the event of a homeland security threat or other emergency, such as a power failure, etc.

“The physical security market is undergoing a significant market transition as the industry moves from closed, proprietary networks to open and interoperable systems that integrate incident response, video surveillance and emergency communications systems,” said Bill Stuntz, vice president and general manager for Cisco’s Physical Security business unit. “Given Cisco’s heritage in IP networking and leadership in delivering video, we’re uniquely positioned to help our customers take advantage of this transition to better protect people, locations and assets.”

In addition to key transportation providers like Amtrak, a variety of organizations such as schools, hospitals, police and fire departments, retail outlets and businesses are protecting their people and property using Cisco’s enhanced physical security solutions. For general information about Cisco physical security solutions, visit:


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