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They’re used for sporting matches, major events and in real estate, and now drones are even being called upon for inspections on the Hunter’s rail network.
The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) Hunter Valley team employed drones that film in 4K video to complete technical bridge inspections in the lead up to the first major rail maintenance shutdown of 2018.
ARTC Hunter Valley group executive Wayne Johnson said the company was looking at new ways to run what is one of the most complex rail networks in the country.
“Using drones to inspect critical structures like rail bridges is just one of the technology solutions we have been employing to make our rail network safer, more efficient and reliable,” Mr Johnson said.
Drones are increasingly being used across the rail industry to help inspect structures as it is a faster, more efficient and safer way of delivering the work.
Prior to drone use, the safety checks required long hours, cherry pickers or cranes and often put people in difficult positions to review structures visually.
ARTC track inspection drone footage
“A drone removes the need for slow moving equipment, harnesses and the dangers of working at heights,” Mr Johnson said. “There is the added benefit of being able to record the inspection for future reference and review in high resolution.”
ARTC has shared vision from a recent inspection ahead of a major maintenance shutdown from February 20 to 23.
The works will take place over 72 hours across more than 120 different project sites between Newcastle and Narrabri.
Works including bridge repairs and replacements, re-railing, rail grinding, track reconditioning, signal works and other corridor maintenance tasks will take place during the three day work window.
ARTC has also scheduled track work between Hamilton and Maitland across the weekend of March 17 to 18.
“We would like to thank the community for its patience while this work takes place,” Mr Johnson said.
“We know that it can be disruptive and with the use of heavy machinery, noisy work, and we do appreciate it causes an inconvenience to some of our neighbours.
“We ask the community to please take caution around the rail corridor during this time and be aware there may be some road closures or detours in your region.”
This article first appeared on www.maitlandmercury.com.au
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