Home Company News Fugro to conduct RILA survey of Network Rail’s Western route

Fugro to conduct RILA survey of Network Rail’s Western route

Network Rail has contracted Fugro to conduct a RILA survey of a major part the rail network on the Western route in England. Fugro will collect of nearly 1,000 route miles of RILA data, providing asset and track position information that will be used by Network Rail to support a gauging programme and validation of track position. Fugro’s RILA survey will capture an estimated 97 per cent of all track and lineside structures to provide a holistic and accurate view of the Western network.

Fugro will deploy its unique RILA train-borne survey technology in collaboration with the Network Rail Western route team and Great Western Railway on passenger services operating throughout south-west England.

To ensure survey work can continue during the Covid-19 outbreak, when passenger trains are reduced, some parts of the survey will be carried out with the RILA survey unit attached to a dedicated locomotive rather than an in-service passenger train. Fugro has worked closely with Network Rail and Freightliner to modify procedures and agree work methods that incorporate social distancing and safeguard all personnel.

Network Rail’s route asset data and analysis manager Chris Stanley said: “We are delighted to be working with Fugro, whose innovative approach has revolutionised the way we receive information and data of railway infrastructure. RILA will help reduce the amount of time we need to work on the track, reducing delays for passengers and freight, while also improving the safety of the railway, as engineers spend less time on track carrying out survey works.”

The processed data will form a geodetic backbone that can be used for a range of route maintenance applications, including topographical survey extraction, determination of heights and staggers on sections of electrified routes, vegetation analysis, ballast profiling and ballast volume validation.

The survey will start at the end of May and includes the Great Western main line from London Paddington to Bristol, onwards to Penzance and into South Wales, linking with the RILA survey of the Welsh network performed by Fugro in 2019.

Nigel Wordsworth BSc(Hons) MCIJhttp://therailengineer.com

SPECIALIST AREAS Rolling stock, mechanical equipment, project reports, executive interviews


Nigel Wordsworth graduated with an honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from Nottingham University, after which he joined the American aerospace and industrial fastener group SPS Technologies. After a short time at the research laboratories in Pennsylvania, USA, Nigel became responsible for applications engineering to industry in the UK and Western Europe. At this time he advised on various engineering projects, from Formula 1 to machine tools, including a particularly problematic area of bogie design for the HST.

A move to the power generation and offshore oil supply sector followed as Nigel became director of Entwistle-Sandiacre, a subsidiary of the Australian-owned group Aurora plc. At the same time, Nigel spent ten years as a Technical Commissioner with the RAC Motor Sports Association, responsible for drafting and enforcing technical regulations for national and international motor racing series.

Joining Rail Engineer in 2008, Nigel’s first assignment was a report on new three-dimensional mobile mapping and surveying equipment, swiftly followed by a look at vegetation control machinery. He continues to write on a variety of topics for most issues.

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