Public Transport Victoria, Victoria Australia

GT delivers ‘Driver View’ imagery of the Melbourne metropolitan rail network in record time

Business Challenge
Public Transport Victoria (formerly Department of Transport) or PTV is the statutory authority responsible for providing and regulating public transport across Victoria.

The PTV operates a web delivered Geographic Information System (GIS) known as ‘Privatised Arrangements Support Systems’ (PASS) with over 500 users. PASS assets is a spatial asset
management system used by PTV staff, transport franchisees and external organisations like VicRoads to maintain existing infrastructure and plan future development.

PASS data also includes ‘driver’s view’ imagery captured every few metres over the network. Capturing this imagery required a dedicated rail inspection car to physically drive the track while cameras filmed views out the front of the vehicle. This vehicle proved expensive to operate
and difficult to schedule. Gaining access to the track network is limited by peak passenger periods, while photography is limited by available daylight and sun angle. PTV was looking to update this imagery and turned to Geomatic Technologies (GT) for help.

Services Overview
GT’s services included utilising GT’s Asset Inspection Mapping System (GT AIMS) as the image capture platform. GT AIMS provides high quality digital still imagery of rail infrastructure and all imagery is geo-referenced and quality assured.

GT utilised its GT AIMS-Lite version of GT AIMS to maximise recording time and minimise disruption to the train network. GT AIMS-Lite can be deployed on commuter trains in normal revenue service and records at ‘line speed’.

Following appropriate track safety awareness training and allocation of a driver cab pass, GT field staff met with the train driver of a revenue service train, discussed the work they would be doing and deployed the camera, field hardware and laptop computer in the cab of the train.

Using GT AIMS-Lite GT recorded new imagery over all metro lines based on a recording program that was sensitive to sun angle and to timetabled passenger car services. The GT AIMS-Lite set-up, testing and demobilisation took only minutes.

Back in the office, the GT AIMS office software was used to process accurate location information from the field data. Individual photos were assigned a precise location and then snapped to an accurate rail centreline from PASS assets so that each digital photo was referenced to a track and to an absolute distance along that track. Digital corridor imagery at 3 metre intervals long each track was then delivered to PASS assets and its users.

Outcomes
GT AIMS-Lite system provided the following benefits to PTV:
–  ‘Drivers view’ imagery was updated much quicker than using a conventional track recording  car.
–  As image capture occurred on a normal commuter train there were no impacts on the  timetable.
–  The high quality imagery is widely used at PTV for day-to-day business. Imagery is used for  virtual inspections of assets and can assist in accident investigations prior to site visits.
–  GT AIMS-Lite delivered well-structured spatial data that could be readily incorporated into  the client’s GIS system.