The historic landmark “East Broad Top Railroad,” located in ROCKY RIDGE, Pa, took a step forward using Hovermaps SLAM-based LiDAR system.
On Thursday, May 26, 2022, the mission was to use a drone to map the conditions of two tunnels deemed unsafe for human access to identify landslides, rockfalls, shifted strata, or sources of underground water seepage. Both tunnels collapsed slightly and have suffered significant damage over the years. Their interiors are wet to varying degrees, with rails and ties partially or fully submerged in some areas. In addition, many rails are badly rusted and need to be replaced.
How will the collected LiDAR data be used?
James Kenney, Wingfield Scale & Measure senior engineer, flew a DJI M300 equipped with a Hovermap LiDAR system through each tunnel for 15-minute cycles, downloading data after each flight. The information gathered will help contractors approach each repair site, whether it be drilling holes for roof bolts, using resin or other material to fill cracks, installing braces, or some other method.
Future Railway Drone & LiDAR Projects?
Shortly, plans to restore and reopen historic railways may be in the works with this safe method of navigating hazardous terrain while assessing means of access options and repairs on an explorable 3D point-cloud map.
Click the Trains Magazine article link for more information regarding the East Broad Top Railroad project.