bridge collapse in barrow upon soar

Could the Barrow upon Soar Rail Closure Have Been Avoided Using a Mobile Monitoring System?

In by 3dlm_user

Could the recent collapse of Barrow upon Soar’s railway bridge have been avoided by employing regular bridge monitoring?

Not long after the last train had passed beneath, half the railway bridge wall and a large section of brickwork had collapsed onto the tracks at Barrow upon Soar. Network Rail teams worked constantly  to restore normal service, but the ­­Midland Main Line connecting the East Midlands and beyond to London St. Pancras was out of action for 48 hours at great cost and inconvenience to businesses and people across the East Midlands.

With many of today’s bridge designs dating back to the Victorian era, there has never been a greater need to survey and monitor these decaying structures and to schedule regular, necessary maintenance to prevent costly and disruptive events such as Barrow upon Soar. Systems such as 3DLM’s StreetMapperIV enables measure the deterioration of vital infrastructure like rail and road bridges.

StreetMapperIV, 3D Laser Mapping’s survey grade mobile mapping system, is one of the most reliable, accurate and robust mobile mapping systems on the market today. Surveys can be carried out without costly road or network closures as the system can be mounted on a train or car travelling at normal speed.

The survey grade system is supplied with two sensors which provide a dense pointcloud allowing for detailed feature identification – such as cracks in brickwork, as seen in the Barrow upon Soar railway bridge shortly before the collapse.


Local residents spoke of assessments being carried out on the bridge, but visual inspections can be unreliable and do not reveal the true extent of the deterioration. Visible cracks often occur in structures and are usually the first sign of a greater problem. Regular monitoring, incorporating the use of an accurate LiDAR system, ensures that any potential issues can be detected early enough to avoid the safety and cost implications involved in a collapse.

If you’re interested in a mobile mapping systems, or would simply like to bend our ear – please get in touch! Drop us a line at or dial 01949 838004.

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