High Speed Automated Inspection of Railway Track

We are pleased to welcome Iain King to our meeting on Monday 19th November to talk about “High Speed Automated Inspection of Railway”. This will be at 18.00 in MP-0.11 (Physics A) in the Physical Sciences Building at Aberystwyth University.

There will be light refreshments from 5.30 in the foyer of the Physical Sciences building. There are steps from the foyer to the room, but there is also wheelchair lift access available.  A map for the location is available.

Get your free ticket

The event is free and open to everyone. We do ask that you reserve your place by getting a free ticket for the event at Eventbrite.


Network Rail collects asset related data using a fleet of infrastructure measurement trains. The data is fundamental to the safety and asset management of the railway, underpinning Network Rail’s approach to efficient and effective safety and asset management. The fleet uses complex measurement technology (e.g. lasers, ultrasonic probes, ground penetrating radar and HD cameras) integrated with accurate positioning systems to collect asset related data to tight measurement tolerances. Network Rail’s asset base includes approximately 2,500 stations, 22,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and tunnels and 26,000 switches and crossings.

The Infrastructure Measurement fleet comprises 13 trains formed of 64 carriages. It covers 550,000 data mile every year. There are currently 18 different types of condition measurements (data streams) which generate up to 1.3 petabytes of data each four weeks. Depending on the measurement being taken, the trains can travel at up to 100 miles per hour whilst measuring. The data is collected, analyzed and distributed to local maintenance managers. The analysis is used to plan appropriate maintenance.

The presentation will describe both the technologies and how they are used to improve the safety, reliability and cost of the railway.

Iain will also mention Network Rail’s commitment to Open Data and the HackTrain.


Iain has worked in IT in the rail industry for over thirty years in a variety of business-facing roles.  He is currently a Senior Business Analyst working on a Digital Railway initiative – the deployment of a rail traffic management system covering south Wales.  Iain has a very wide understanding of the stakeholders, business drivers and business processes in the rail industry in the UK and overseas and of the IT systems which support them.  This experience covers train planning, train operations, rail infrastructure maintenance and business applications.  Iain has the knack of explaining complex topics in terms that can be readily understood.  He has a positive approach to innovation in business management, systems engineering and technology.  Iain is a member of the BCS and an affiliate member of the Institution of Railway Operators.