WITH new trains coming to Scotland's tracks, Network Rail have enlisted the help of a track-based 3D scanner to precisely model the railway infrastructure.

One of their first targets was Mossgiel tunnel outside Mauchline as they survey survey the countries railways to see if the new trains will actually fit on existing lines.

Graham Hutchison, absolute track geometry engineer with Network Rail in Scotland said: “Three dimensional scanning provides more, and more detailed information in a shorter time which reduces the need to be on the track; making it safer as well as more efficient.

“This system is ideally suited to tunnel surveys where irregular construction can make it difficult to locate the main pinch points. The three-dimensional scan measures the full extent of a tunnel precisely in about a fifth of the time than it took previously.

“It can also be used for proactive monitoring to inform maintenance requirements and to better predict and prevent faults and to reduce disruption for passengers.”

The new system – which was introduced in April – has a relative accuracy of less than 5mm and Network Rail say it is already delivering higher quality scanning and modelling quicker and more precisely than before.