Public Transport Victoria, Melbourne Australia

High-resolution 3D panoramic imagery enables a fast and comprehensive update to Public Transport Victoria’s rail asset database

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

PTV operates a web-based Geographic Information System (GIS) known as ‘Privatised Arrangement Support Systems’ or PASS. The data standards for PASS are set by the Victorian Rail Industry Operators Group (VRIOG) to facilitate the interoperability of infrastructure between VRIOG’s members that include PTV, Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC), Metro
Trains Melbourne, VicTrack, V/Line and Yarra Trams.

Since the original data capture for PASS Assets in 2004/05, the VRIOG standards had changed so that information on assets in PASS did not reflect current requirements. Furthermore, despite changes in network configuration in regional areas, no systematic update to PASS data in these areas had been completed.

To address this problem PTV decided that a refresh of PASS data was required on regional freight and passenger networks. With extensive experience in asset capture in rail environments, Geomatic Technologies (GT) was asked by PTV to help.

Services Overview
In order to update PASS with current asset information, a new asset capture program was needed. To obtain up-todate imagery of the Victorian regional rail network, GT mobilised its GT’s Asset Inspection Mapping System (GT AIMS) on a hyrail truck.

GT AIMS, a multi-sensor platform that records information on rail infrastructure at ‘line speed’, has performed numerous surveys of rail networks and mass transits in Australia, New Zealand, and North America. With processes honed over many years working on rail networks, GT was able to quickly mobilise GT AIMS in preparation for the planned recording runs.

Using GT AIMS, high-resolution 3D panoramic imagery of the rail corridor was collected with corresponding latitude, longitude and elevation data point for every pixel in every panoramic scene. From the 3D imagery it was easy to then extract up-to-date asset information to refresh the PASS database. By superimposing existing PASS information on the 3D panorama, GT’s mapping team was able to validate existing asset information and append the PASS database with current information. Assets that had not previously been captured could be easily identified in the imagery and attributed in accordance with VRIOG standards.

Outcomes
–  PASS asset information was updated quickly, comprehensively and safely without the need for
conventional field surveys.
–  PASS asset information was now current and could be relied upon for engineering and  business decisions.
–  As the 3D imagery is delivered via web services, PTV and its stakeholders now had easy access
to 3D panoramic corridor imagery to support operational, planning and maintenance activities  through virtual site visits.
–  Disruptions to rail operations were minimised as data collection occurred at ‘line speed’.