Australian LiDAR technology helps upgrade Philadelphia’s transport network

Australian mobile and spatial technology developer Geomatic Technologies (GT) has been recognised for its critical role in a major upgrade of a busy North American commuter rail service.

The Australasian Rail Association awarded GT its Suppliers’ Export Achievement Award for its SEPTA (South Eastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority) Bi-Level Train Clearance Survey.

SEPTA commissioned GT to deliver a sophisticated network-wide clearance analysis across the Philadelphia regional rail commuter network to assess whether a proposed new fleet of bi-level passenger trains could be introduced to supplement the current single-deck fleet operating across 280 miles (450.6km) of above and below ground track.

The proposed new trains are significantly taller than the existing commuter trains and locomotives. The service provided by GT allowed SEPTA to quickly, accurately and comprehensively assess the clearance viability of a new bi-level passenger fleet through a complex network of trackside assets, bridges, platforms and tunnels.

The evolution of GT’s rail LiDAR clearance capability and its AIMS Analyser software began a decade ago when it was contracted by PTV to complete a network-wide structure gauge audit across the Victorian rural and metropolitan networks.

Since then, GT has completed rolling stock clearance assessments, over-dimensioned load analysis and platform edge studies on behalf of many Australian, New Zealand and North American customers. The capability has been developed by GT’s Melbourne-based rail survey professionals within the GT Data Services team.

“The team worked tirelessly to adapt and apply our innovative technologies to SEPTA’s specific needs in Philadelphia. This award showcases GT’s unique capabilities to solve complex asset and data management challenges in the transport sector,” GT transport business manager Dave Presley said.