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Case Study – TASRAIL Network Asset Survey

MLS survey across the TasRail network delivers critical digital datasets and clearance reports for TasRail systems.

CLIENT

TasRail

LOCATION

Tasmania, Australia

Challenge

TasRail is a large state-owned entity that operates and maintains an extensive freight rail network across Tasmania. Extending from Burnie through to Launceston and Hobart, the TasRail network passes through farmland, state forest and industrial precincts across the island. In all there are more than 640km of narrow-gauge track under the management of TasRail.

Due to its geographic extents and large sections of relatively inaccessible terrain, TasRail had over a decade ago recognised the power of a digital track asset database and online viewer and MLS (Mobile Laser Scanning)
technology was again selected as the best tool for TasRail to update its digital information.

This technology would also support network-wide clearance and track alignment assessments.

Recording MLS data across a busy operational network required detailed logistics planning, hy-rail resourcing, driver services and, most importantly, MLS system
reliability to avoid costly re-recording visits.

The extreme remoteness of much
of the TasRail network also demanded careful planning of the MLS positioning technology to ensure that LiDAR point clouds and the key deliverables from the
project all met TasRail’s accuracy and completeness objectives.

Having recently completed a series of large-scale MLS campaigns on behalf of mainland railways (including the similarly remote Nullarbor Plain), TasRail selected
Agonics to deliver the 2022 TasRail network asset survey and MLS Viewer project.

Solution

During 2021 Agonics met with TasRail managers and engineers to help scope requirements and provide input into the project timings to both minimise
operational impacts to TasRail while maximising the daytime recording hours to capture digital imagery in the best conditions possible.

The Agonics team then mobilised MLS hardware on to a TasRail hy-rail and undertook boresight testing and calibration in Launceston early in 2022. Data
recording was completed over a 7-day campaign.

Travelling at an average speed of 30kph, the LiDAR point cloud and 360-degree digital imagery has remarkable clarity and no sections of the network needed to be re-visited due to weather or system issues.

While recording the MLS data, a second Agonics surveyor completed extensive in-field control point checks to ensure that the final LiDAR point cloud met the project’s real-world accuracy requirements.

Sophisticated post-processing of the MLS GPS and Inertial Positioning data allowed the LiDAR and imagery to be rendered seamlessly into the Agonics
XERRA LiDAR Viewer to support project reporting and asset information back to TasRail including: updated track alignment data, updated KM Post location
data, detailed encroachment (clearance) analysis across the network using TasRail vegetation and clearance templates, LiDAR point clouds supplied with
colourisation in Agonics standard 1km tile forma

Outcome

  • Zero OHS near-miss, reportable or incidents
  • Successful capture of LiDAR and panoramic imagery across TasRail
  • Upload of project data to the MLS Agonics XERRA Viewer for seamless access by TasRail
  • Identification of clearance incursions using XERRA LiDAR software
  • Railway asset mapping of kilometre posts
  • A new digital track centreline was delivered for TasRail systems inclusive of curvature and gradient information.
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