Melbourne and Sydney AU

Case Study – Metro Trains Melbourne LOS

Agonics XERRA platform supports comprehensive audit of sighting distances on the MTM network




Melbourne, Australia


Rail operators and maintainers continually strive to avoid sending personnel into the “danger zone” for inspections and maintenance tasks.

On occasions, and particularly during large construction events, in-person site visits are unavoidable and in these situations the protection of track staff is paramount.

Networks typically maintain a list of locations that offer only restricted visibility to approaching trains, such as through tight curves, tunnels and in/around bridges. Through these regions, worksite planners are obligated to implement rigorous safe-working requirements.

Metro Trains Melbourne (MTM) maintains a list of “no go zones” where worker sightlines to traffic and positions of safety are severely compromised.

Due to recent network changes as a result of the Level Crossing Removal Project and other Rail Project Victoria (RPV) initiatives, it was recognised that a new assessment of worker line-of-sight locations needed to be completed.

In addition to an updated Line Of Sight (LoS) inventory, MTM also desired a
digital workflow that could be incorporated into the business to support the upkeep of the LoS information.


MTM provided Agonics with a database of worker positions that needed to be assessed for LoS visibility.

These positions were correlated to the existing MTM portal and stanchion assets and a sequence of vantage points were coordinated based on a worker at a mid-track location and at a 3m offset location.

To assess available sighting distances from these vantage points, the Agonics
XERRA software was configured with a network-wide LiDAR point cloud, track
centreline and line speed parameters.

MTM nominated the amount of time (in seconds) that a worker would need to have visibility of an approaching train and this time was converted into an along-track distance using line speed.

In XERRA a scale model of an MTM train was rendered in the LiDAR point cloud at the nominated distance from the worker and the 3-dimensional point cloud was then assessed to identify any features that obstructed the worker LoS.

The XERRA digital map was then tagged with LoS compliance features and each obstruction was categorised according to a list provided by MTM.

The overall solution was validated by results that confirmed that known infrastructure surfaces such as cuttings, vegetation and curved track did indeed restrict the worker LoS.

New locations, however, were able to be identified that were far more subtle including troughs or crests in the track alignment that compromised the train’s visibility to a track worker.


  • Historic MTM LoS and no-go worker zones have been updated to reflect the current infrastructure and recent changes
  • MTM LiDAR and digital imagery generated through an earlier project was able to be exploited to help inform the LoS team
  • LoS reports provided to MTM were embedded with XERRA location tags for MTM’s validation
  • The XERRA LoS module can be used to vary line speed to identify what speeds need to be enforced to give track workers the minimum sighting time.