Rail Mapping can help rail operators to plan maintenance, protect infrastructure and catalogue assets without having to place workers in harm’s way. 3D Laser Mapping have a history of working with some of the leading rail operators and contractors to provide systems and services which provide deeper insights into critical and complex infrastructure.
Laser scanning allows service providers to create 3D visualisations of an entire network, with the ability to retrospectively analyse features which require regular monitoring. Terrestrial laser scanning systems have traditionally been used to map transportation infrastructure yet mobile mapping systems (MLS) now stand to make rail mapping more accessible, affordable and safer for operatives.
Systems such as RailMapper and ROBIN can be easily mounted onto a train or vehicle by one worker, meaning that time and resources are saved immediately. An accurate point cloud can be generated in a single pass at speeds of around 40 mph, without the need for repeated scanner set-ups, even in tunnels or areas with bad GPS. Point cloud data can be used to identify defects in concrete, steel and masonry structures as well as surface deformation of slopes and sidings. Whether used as part of a standard rail survey, or as part of a regular monitoring and maintenance plan, laser scanning provides an incomparable level of detail for making informed decisions.
Safety concerns are also mitigated by using mobile laser scanning systems. Units can be mounted onto almost any vehicle, removing the need for workers to place themselves in hazardous locations.
3D rail mapping can also be used to create three-dimensional models of railway assets which can then be identified, classified and catalogued using innovative point cloud processing software such as Terrasolid. This allows for easy management and maintenance without the need to manually inspect each feature.