The Requirements

ARTC is Australia’s largest Railway network covering almost 8,500km of network covering New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia. Operating primarily freight, grain and coal the network forms an arterial backbone of Australians transportation network. ARTC looked to improve the inspection regime of their diagnostic inspection train by adding an automated Lidar and Imagery based system onboard the AK car (measurement train) to add additional inspection tasks that could be completed. ARTC decided to focus the immediate requirements on streamlining and automating the Infringement and track clearance surveys across the network as the first solution for deployment. Infringement surveys for any network are costly and generally require access by workers to the rail corridor to perform measurements and define the level of infringement. ARTC sought to deploy a safer and more technology-driven inspection solution across its national railroad network.

The Solution

After a competitive bidding process Cordel was awarded a 3-year contract to provide automated Lidar capture from onboard the AK Car (diagnostic train), data processing and select automated data solutions. The solution included a permanently installed, remotely managed Cordel Smartscan Mobile Laser System (MLS) with imagery solution as well as the onboard networking and data storage. The Cordel solution for corridor infringements and Track Clearances enables the automated processing of thousands of KM of MLS data across the entire 8,500km network and creation of entries that are automatically added to the ABB Ellipse Infringement database. With accurate rail AI models for over 50+ asset types, powerful search functions and export capabilities, the Cordel platform helped to enable ARTC to perform remote inspection and measurements on their network.

The Results

The Smartscan MLS system was installed permanently on the AK car in late January 2020 during a 2-day maintenance window, and the program successfully entered into a 2-month commissioning stage. After a 2-month commissioning process, the appropriate internal engineering waivers were received to allow ARTC to run an automated data capture, processing and output of track clearance and infringement survey data to update and continuously improve the National Infringement Register. The Cordel team is not carrying out the business analysis process to the scope and define requirements for providing additional data automation solutions using the captured data. In addition to the original scope of works, the Cordel team and ARTC are working collaboratively on identifying, expanding and prioritising future solutions throughout the term of the contract. The additional solutions will include, technical upgrades to the AK Car hardware, automatic ballast profiling, level sighting distances, automatic GIS rail centerline creation and updating and reffing the Linear Reference system.

Our recordings from the project provide an insight into how we provided powerful solutions for ARTC.

"Results from trials have been encouraging and we are continuing to embed this new capability as the preferred method of inspections for transit space monitoring across the entire ARTC Interstate Network."

Damon Goulding, Asset Planning Engineer

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