Geo-RINM Viewer technology gives engineers a clearer picture of the railway

Our Geo-RINM Viewer captures imagery and detail of all 20,000 miles of track and surrounding infrastructure, revealing the railway in a clarity never seen before.

With its multiple views and multi-faceted insights into the railway, the Geo-RINM Viewer supports more than 10,000 users from Network Rail in using their expertise to deliver safer, more efficient ways of working.

Its high-resolution imagery displays our railway assets as they look in the real world, with other data layers allowing our engineers to plan for work more safely.

Visual solution

We carried out an aerial survey in 2014, photographing our railway in high-resolution to produce a detailed map of all infrastructure assets – 220TB of railway data was captured during the survey. The resulting ‘orthophotos’ have a resolution of 4cm, showing anything larger than 4cm in crystal-clear detail.

Combined with over 140 layers of data in the Viewer, these images reveal a wealth of knowledge about the railway, down to the last detail.

Digital surface model images (as above) show the height and depth of landscape features above ground – including trees, bridges and platforms. We captured these during the aerial survey, using light sensors to take highly accurate measurements with the light-detecting and ranging (LiDAR) technique.

A digital terrain model view (as below) shows the ground surface bare of all features, including the height of any slopes or depth of any cuts in the terrain. Other views identify the location of hazards, listed buildings and buried services. The Viewer enhances engineers’ access to information, from access points and track geometry to geological and flood data.

Click the tabs to find out some of the ways the Viewer helps us with our work.

Pre-planning is made simpler thanks to the Viewer, which can be used to digitally measure distances and areas. Work site planning and familiarisation starts in the office, reducing time on track and so increasing employee safety.

The Viewer meets topographical survey specifications for the early stages of the Governance for Railway Investment Process (GRIP 1-3), which we use to manage and control enhancement and renewal projects.

Risk assessments are more accurate and detailed – and safer too, as the data means I can see where steep drops occur and the precise levels of gradients.

David MacLean, level crossing manager, Inverness

I now use the Viewer every single day. It has completely changed how I work – whether it’s reacting quickly to an incident or planning ahead for a renewal project.

Michael Evans, asset engineer, Anglia

Pre-planning is made simpler thanks to the Viewer, which can be used to digitally measure distances and areas. Work site planning and familiarisation starts in the office, reducing time on track and so increasing employee safety. The Viewer meets topographical survey specifications for the early stages of the Governance for Railway Investment Process (GRIP 1-3), which we use to manage and control enhancement and renewal projects.

Risk assessments are more accurate and detailed – and safer too, as the data means I can see where steep drops occur and the precise levels of gradients.
David MacLean, level crossing manager, Inverness
I now use the Viewer every single day. It has completely changed how I work – whether it’s reacting quickly to an incident or planning ahead for a renewal project.
Michael Evans, asset engineer, Anglia

Better information for a better railway

The practical visual approach of the Geo-RINM Viewer is one of the solutions to the challenge that faces Network Rail’s Asset Information Services team and the Offering Railway Better Information Services (ORBIS) programme: getting the most from all the data we collect. Before the ORBIS programme started there were around 178 databases and systems that Network Rail teams drew on for information.

The programme’s focus is on developing better ways for Network Rail to collect and manage data, and deliver it via tools and apps that are easy to use, improving how we run the railway. Asset Information Services now manages and maintains the Viewer, liaising with engineers across the country to keep the data layers up to date.

The result: a more efficient railway means a safer way of working, fewer delays for passengers and big cost savings for Network Rail.

It’s a seven-year transformation programme (we’re in the sixth year) to move Network Rail towards a ‘predict and prevent’ – not ‘find and fix’ – approach to maintenance and renewal. Failing assets are being identified earlier and we know where work is likely to be needed before it is necessary.

Gallery

Click the arrows to browse the images below.

  1. Asset mapping
  2. Slope map and cross-section
  3. Aerial survey LiDAR image
  4. Feature extraction of King’s Cross station