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Network Rail has boosted its capacity to identify and fix track defects using Plain Line Pattern Recognition (PLPR) technology; reducing delays caused by track faults, improving safety and saving the taxpayer millions of pounds.
As a key part of Network Rail’s ‘predict and prevent’ strategy, this is helping to deliver a safer and more reliable railway for the 4.8 million passengers who rely upon it every day.
Over Control Period 6, PLPR will cover almost one million (975,000) miles of railway track across Britain.
A fleet of five monitoring trains, including the New Measurement Train (NMT), use PLPR to monitor and record track condition information, and can find issues such as missing fasteners, excess ballast and ineffective rail clamps. Cameras mounted underneath the trains capture an image every 0.8mm, taking 70,000 images per second at the top speed of 125mph, with any potential defects identified sent to a PLPR facility in Derby for closer examination. Local track section managers are then notified of confirmed defects, enabling engineers to target track maintenance more effectively.
This article first appeared on www.globalrailwayreview.com
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