Drone use within the rail industry
As part of the Department for Transport funded, Drone Pathfinder Catalyst Programme, Connected Places Catapult joined Network Rail to demonstrate how drones can be used for maintenance, surveying, safety and incident response.
Network Rail Limited is the owner and infrastructure manager of most of the railway network in Great Britain. The UK rail network consists of 20,000 miles of tracks and some 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts. Network Rail is an “arm’s length” public body of the Department for Transport. The sheer size and scale of the infrastructure that Network Rail is responsible for means inspection and monitoring tasks are some of the most involved and labour intensive of any industry.
Network Rail continues to conduct proof of concept flights to determine how drones in general can act as an additional tool for its workforce, removing people from hazardous environments.