Early in 2015, GT was engaged by the Australia Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) to perform a track curvature and gradient study in order to better understand current track alignment.  It was envisaged that this information would allow ARTC to optimise speed profiles on its network and identify curves that did not conform to design.

GT’s Data Services team undertook a 1,085km centreline survey, along with post survey office processing and reporting. The survey corridor encompassed rural and metropolitan South Australia and Victoria, starting in Crystal Brook north of Adelaide and finishing in Melbourne. The field survey was carried out using GT’s AIMS (Asset Inspection Mapping System) acquisition platform that was mobilised on an ARTC hyrail vehicle. The acquisition technology included dual LiDAR measurement systems, which captured 3D X, Y, Z points every 7cm along the track.  Also included was a 3D panoramic imagery system capturing 360° photography every 10m as well as dual-frequency GPS and inertial positioning technology.  The highly successfully survey was completed in five days with zero safety incidents in no small part due to the track logistics organised by the ARTC corridor management.
Office processing included classifying the track centreline using the GT AIMS Alignment Software to define the exact locations of each section of tangent track, curved track and intervening transition track sections.  Also classified was track elevation to define sections of flat, positive and negative gradient.  Project add-ons included a continuous 3D LiDAR point cloud for the entire corridor, encroachment analysis for ARTC rolling stock, and an additional 100,000 3D panoramic images distributed by GT’s 3D image cloud services to add to ARTC’s existing image library.  The survey, classification and reporting is helping ARTC make informed decisions on speed restrictions, rolling stock, infrastructure and scheduling.

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