Train-based surveys of 2,750km of rail line and 638 stations in Scotland is underway to create a digital twin of the entire network for Network Rail.
The rail infrastructure operator has appointed Fugro to undertake the task using its rail infrastructure alignment acquisition (Rila) system.
The data will be used to create a holistic gauging database that includes clearance data from the track to lineside structures, platforms, objects, and the train-to-train passing interface. The routewide gauging geodata will support the continued safe passage of trains operating on the network and facilitate the introduction of new rolling stock.
According to Fugro, use of the Rila system removes the need for surveyors to be on or near the track during data collection, creating safety benefits, as well as fast paced data acquisition.
The track twin will enable a range of engineering, asset management and maintenance applications, including track ballast quantity and distribution, earthworks, and vegetation management. It will also support the design of future electrification projects, an important part of the Scottish Government’s commitment to decarbonise Scotland’s rail passenger services by 2035.
Engineers and asset managers will be able to view the Rila data in a desktop environment served through a secure web portal which integrates 2D and 3D data to provide a 3D representation or track twin of the railway corridor. Fugro has said that this is particularly pertinent to Scotland’s railway as much of the network covers remote and difficult-to-access areas.
Department of Civil Engineering Department of Civil Engineering – International Burch University (ibu.edu.ba)