Network Rail has announced plans to conduct a survey of more than 850 route miles of track across Wales and the border counties of England. This includes the proposed and current Transport for Wales (TfW) Rail Services operational and diversionary routes and will also include data acquisition on parts of London North Western (LNW) and Western routes.
The asset information and track position data that results will be used by Network Rail to support a new train introduction programme and to validate track position on route sections throughout the country.
The contract to carry out this survey has been awarded to Fugro, building on the successful outcome of a survey of the Core Valley lines that the company conducted for TfW Rail Services in late 2018. The geo-data specialist will deploy its RILA system to capture the data from a train, removing the need for “boots on ballast”.
Indeed, Fugro’s train-mounted rail infrastructure alignment acquisition system (RILA) will be deployed on TfW Rail Services’ in-service passenger trains throughout Wales, rather than dedicated locomotives, so no additional track access capacity will be required either.
Work on the survey began in February and is providing a holistic view of the network to high levels of accuracy. Once processed, the resulting information will give Network Rail baseline asset data that can be used for a range of route maintenance applications, including topographical survey extraction, determination of heights and staggers on electrified routes, vegetation analysis, ballast profiling and ballast volume validation.
Fugro’s global director of rail Jeroen Huiskamp commented: “With RILA, we have revolutionised the way railway data and asset information are collected. We can deliver data faster, with less disruption to normal rail services and can increase the safety profile considerably for track survey works.”