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Case Study – UGL Regional Linx

XERRA platform promotes detailed understanding of asset condition on NSW Country Rail Network (CRN)

CLIENT

UGL

LOCATION

New South Wales, Australia

Challenge

UGL Regional Linx (UGLRL) manages the operation and maintenance of the NSW Country Rail Network (CRN) under contract to Transport for NSW.

The CRN network encompasses almost 2,400km of operational standard gauge line supporting both passenger and freight operations.
Maintaining a deep understanding of track and easement infrastructure condition is one of the key requirements of the CRN contract. While conditioning monitoring vehicles provide reports on track condition including track geometry, bridge and structure gauge clearances are not generally assessed during such track geometry campaigns.

Typically, teams of engineers and surveyors will visit known problem
sites to assess clearances using a traditional tape or rangefinder approach, but to uncover other problem sites requires a Technological approach.

The use of MLS (Mobile Laser Scanning) technology was identified as a suitable tool to supplement conventional track geometry and GPR (Ground Penetrating Radar) campaigns.

As a leading expert in LiDAR on rail networks, Agonics was able to demonstrate it had the technical expertise, software and railway domain knowledge to partner with UGLRL to acquire LiDAR and imagery and generate clearance reports and digital datasets for UGLRL operations and maintenance.

Using XERRA, the Agonics LiDAR processing and analysis software built specifically for automating railway measurement, UGLRL engineers could avail of clearance and offset measurements already embedded in the software and
accepted by other railways, including ARTC, MTM and TasRail, to help inform track and infrastructure condition.

Solution

UGLRL provided a dual cab hy-rail that the team at Agonics mobilised with an MLS system in Bathurst in mid-2022. The MLS system was comprised of core components, including an Riegl LiDAR Scanner, 360-degree digital camera and an
advanced GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) with inertial sensor
technology.

The mobilisation process and subsequent boresight calibration was completed within two days so that on-tracking and data recording could commence on the dates scheduled dates by network controllers.

Data recording took place between Parkes and Lithgow and included all mainline and passing loop track. Fortunately, the extreme wet weather that has prevailed over much of NSW and Victoria in 2022 did not impact on the data capture program.

Following system de-mobilisation, the raw MLS data was processed by Agonics’ surveyors in Collingwood, Melbourne, with imagery and LiDAR data published into the XERRA cloud library for access by UGLRL within a matter of weeks.

Standard XERRA reporting and measurement functions including gauge check, structure clearances, kinematic envelope assessments and 2-D profile assessments are now being utilised by UGLRL to help inform the network condition and compliance.

Key reference datasets including KM post locations are automatically rendered onto the XERRA tracks map to help users quickly
navigate to their region of interest.

Outcome

  • Zero OHS near-miss, reportable or incidents
  • Successful capture of LiDAR and digital panoramic imagery across the UGL Regional Linx southern extents

  • Upload of project data to the MLS Agonics XERRA Viewer for uninterrupted access by UGLRL engineers and track personnel
  • Delivered functionality within XERRA so that UGLRL users can complete their site assessments without entering the track danger zone.
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