BART launches Rail Inspection Vehicle from MERMEC for track inspection
BART has acquired a geometry car known as the Rail Inspection Vehicle (RIV) from MERMEC to identify potential problems along the track with very high accuracy and without obstructing regular railroad operations.
The RIV provides advanced track inspection by:
- Measuring track’s position, curvature, smoothness, and alignment, as well as wear and corrugation, which contribute to train noise.
- Creating 3D surface scans of the area around the track and capture hi-definition images that detect abnormalities in components such as concrete ties and fasteners, which hold the rail in place.
- Identifying potential issues by capturing video in both normal and low-light conditions, including in tunnels, as well as infrared thermal imagery.
- Using GPS, axle counters, and radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags to pinpoint the locations of problem areas.
One of only two such vehicles in the U.S. at this time, the RIV utilizes hi-tech lasers, sensors, cameras, measuring systems, and data management systems to create a comprehensive profile of the track, all while traveling at speeds of up to 70 mph.
MERMEC created the RIV for BART under Build America Buy America Act requirements. The RIV measures 63 feet by 9.5 feet and weighs 110,000 pounds. It is expected to serve for the next forty to fifty years.