SNCF successfully fly UAV without rail closure or disruption: Last year French National Railway Company SNCF, successfully completed its first UAV bridge inspection whilst trains remained running at their usual speed of 300km/h.
The UAV was operated from the Bank of the Rhone to complete an inspection operation on a bridgeÂ facilitatingÂ the connection of train journeys between Orange (Vaucluse) and Roquemaure (Gard).
Using a UAV is a very smart move for SNCF and Rail organizations in general, the technology has already proved its worth in comparison to older manual inspection methods thus far, by reducing (and arguably even diminishing) intervention times whilst lowering inspection costs. The use of UAVs in the industry has also been noted to aid and ease many inspection and maintenance projects when it comes to health and safety regulations, as they replace the former need of having staff in the field whilst warranting minimal cautions for their use.
With UAVs providing a more advanced methodology for many projects across the markets, multiple advantages of UAV operations have been highlighted for the rail community too. Including, inspection of railway tracks, catching graffiti vandals and acting as as deterrents for potential cable thefts.
So far, SNCF plan to continue their UAV trials and further develop the potential usages of their UAV over the years, including deployment for overnight projects.
I for one am keen to see further example of the rail community adopting this evolving technology!
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Picture By SnaPsi from Flickr