• Capabilities: Asset Strategy and Performance
  • Sectors: Transportation, Rail and Urban Transport

ProRail Drone Inspections

The Netherlands - ProRail is a government organization in the Netherlands responsible for the care and maintenance and extensions of the railway network infrastructure. A critical part of their infrastructure base are steel bridges. Periodically, these bridges’ protective coating must be assessed for rust and other wear or damage that could cause significant disruptions or delays if not found and monitored or repaired.

90%

bridge inspected safely

No Disruption

of train schedule or usage
ProRail Drone

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Drones can help save a lot of time and money and rapidly complete work while largely improving the accuracy and quality. Specifically, in topographic survey field, a drone can help reduce costs by 50% when comparing typical methods. More importantly, they allow access to what might have not been previously possible, and they greatly increase safety for people and the asset in many instances.

So, ProRail asked Arcadis to use drones to visually inspect the corrosion protection on the steel structure, determine the protection’s condition, estimate the remaining lifecycle of the bridge’s coating, advise on maintenance actions and asses the advantages and disadvantages on manual inspection. 

By employing drones, 90% of the bridge could be inspected safely, compared to only 40% when manual inspections are in use. Drones also saved significant costs as labor hours and equipment needed to do the assessment was decreased. By conducting inspections via drone, train traffic was also able to proceed as normal without any disruption. In addition, better insights of the condition for the structure by usage of a HD-camera are able to be discussed in the office at any time.

Such inspection methods can be duplicated and scaled to other projects or infrastructure needs. It can also be used in conjunction with other technologies, such as modelling software Autodesk ReCAP and GIS for generating 3D existing models and site analysis report automatically in a short time.

ProRail Netherlands

Outcomes

90%

bridge inspected safely

No Disruption

of train schedule or usage

Questions about this project

Peter Dourlein

former-colleague