A recent passenger train derailment in the UK has highlighted the need for more robust monitoring of the country's rail network to help prevent such incidents in future, geospatial technology supplier 3D Laser Mapping has claimed.
A train derailed near Watford Junction on 16 September after torrential rain caused a landslide at a tunnel entrance.
The derailed train was clipped by another and caused severe disruption to the rail network. The service from Milton Keynes to Euston left the track, leaving two people injured.
3D Laser Mapping official Dr Mark Brown said: “Over the past year, we’ve seen time and again that more needs to be done to monitor the structural health of railway assets and infrastructure.
“We know that weather is getting more extreme and an increased number of incidents like this could easily happen. However, consistent monitoring can identify at-risk areas, providing early warnings to schedule maintenance and repairs, or at least predict events before they cause irreparable damage.
“The current situation is costing rail operators enormous amounts of money in lost revenue. Things need to change.”
In February this year, a section of the Carlisle-Settle line closed, while 120t of rubble recently blocked the Hexham to Prudhoe route.
A bridge also recently collapsed in Barrow-upon-Soar, Leicestershire, costing Network Rail thousands of pounds in lost revenue.
France’s SNCF currently monitors the 29,273km-long UK track using mobile mapping technology.