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The importance of near invisible technology

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At the moment we’re often talking about what we can see that is driving the rail industry.

We talk about new locos, the engines that drive them, and the growing network of tracks, depots and stations that reach out to carry, shelter and maintain them.

But I think this week’s news has been a lot about what we don’t see, or what stays in the background.

Let’s start with defibrillators. For years, rail operators have been installing defibrillator’s at stations, sometimes in huge numbers. But afterwards, it is easy to oversee how important they are, becoming a near invisible feature.

But this week that perspective shifted for me, as their importance was brought home in an incredible real-life example. Customers using a station in Fife alerted two ScotRail staff members to having seen someone suffering cardiac arrest. The pair use their training and the life-saving defibrillator to great effect… but then they found out something about the person they saved that no doubt brought the importance of defibrillators just a little closer to home.

Meanwhile, this week’s Rail Insider looks a little different because it has a special guest — RBD Rail Recruiter. Headed up by my good colleague Dean Bruce, this new site has a whole host of features working behind the scenes to match up the best of rail with the best candidates at an impressive speed. Read about the launch here, the work it has done with the industry here and how it helps candidates here.

And we have one other guest — talking to us about technology that will, no doubt, work behind the scenes in rail over the years to come. Chris Chinnapan from mpro5 takes readers through the Internet of Things. I consider myself something of a tech fan, and I’ve read about a thing or two in my time, but even so I found the applications this will have for rail both surprising and inspiring.

One more thing: this week is Mental Health Awareness Week. It’s an important reminder that anyone can be affected by mental health in any number of ways. We need to be there as best as we can for one another and build a world where people can speak, be heard and be helped. Rail Insider and the rest of the Rail Business Daily Family are supporting the initiative, and Inside Track editor Richard Clinnick has written an powerful, moving piece about his own experiences. I suggest you take a look.

We will have a full retrospective for you next week.

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