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Plowman Craven has 60 years’ experience providing integrated measurement and consultancy services to the property and infrastructure markets.

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Drone Surveys for Rail & Infrastructure

Railway track surveys can now be carried out more safely, quickly, and cost-effectively thanks to Vogel Freedom. Our new drone technology eliminates the need for track access and, with sub-5mm accuracy, it is perfect for railway track surveys. Our solution has already been adopted by Network Rail and is set to become the new industry standard for rail surveying.

Vogel Freedom is a 100% off-track survey solution, enabling faster mobilisation, taking ‘boots of ballast’ completely.

Revolutionise Rail Surveys: No More Boots on Ballast

UAV Rail Survey
UAV Rail Survey

The Problem with Traditional Rail Track Surveys

"Surveys are often deprioritised making a difficult task even harder on a busy site under possession with multiple teams. Is there a better way?" 

Traditional rail track surveys are costly, time-consuming, and risky. Not only do they require boots on ballast, but they also interrupt rail services and put workers in harm's way. Surveying large sections of track can take weeks or even months, often with significant delays due to access planning. That's where Vogel Freedom comes in.

Off track access
Off track access

How Vogel Freedom is Changing the Game. The best just got better.

“Innovation is implementing change and delivering real value to our customers”

Vogel Freedom is the next UAV generation of our award-winning R3D drone service. It uses cutting-edge drone technology to survey railway tracks faster, cheaper, and safer than traditional methods. Our drones can cover large sections of track in a fraction of the time it takes for a traditional survey team to do it. Plus, because our drones can operate from a safe distance, there's no need to disrupt rail services or put workers in harm's way. And with our state-of-the-art software, you can trust that the results will be accurate and reliable.

We utilised Plowman Craven’s Vogel Freedom to undertake UAV surveys on a project, called Victoria Phase 3, initially for survey and sighting location areas and access points. We found that the data could be also used in conjunction with software for Scheme Plans. The data proved invaluable for the Location Areas sighting forms and saved ‘boots on ballast’ time as some of the works was able to be completed via desk-top.”

Tony Roffey - Senior Project Manager - Siemens Mobility Limited
UAV Vogel Freedom
UAV Vogel Freedom

Vogel Freedom, Legacy Giving You Confidence in Quality Data

"Embrace the digital age of rail surveys with Vogel Freedom"

Since 2019, Plowman Craven's Vogel R3D has been at the forefront of UAV surveys up and down the UK, delivering quality rail surveys though Network Rail's UAV Framework. Vogel Freedom is our new, innovative, next-generation iteration of Vogel R3D and will continue to build on the legacy of R3D's success.

Deliverables

TruView

Similar to Google Street View, TruView is a web-based software package that enables stakeholders to ‘walk’ a site and even take measurements. It’s ideal for asset inspections, condition surveys and Health & Safety briefings.

UAV Vogel TruView

High-resolution Imagery

Example of Vogel's zoom facilities at Guildford
Example of Vogel's zoom facilities at Guildford

Our UAV captures both nadir and oblique images (looking straight down and at a 45° angle) to ensure every visible surface is covered.

The imagery is so detailed that it’s possible to read markings on sleepers, identify specific rail clips, examine crossing noses and clearly view flash butt welds – making the job of asset inspection so much easier.

The imagery is so detailed that it’s possible to read markings on sleepers.

3D Point Clouds

3D drone mapping - point cloud for use in CAD packages by designers, enabling the production of BIM (Building Information Modelling) deliverables.

Topographical Surveys

Topographical surveys cover all P-Way detail – including all tracks, switches, crossings, ties & ballast.

Uav Vogel Rail Topo

Orthophoto

Orthophoto – true-to-scale, high-resolution image with all distortions removed so that measurements can be taken and overlaid with CAD drawings.

Uav Vogel Orthophoto

Track Alignments

Track data is extracted from the UAV data and overlaid on a Hi-Res Orthophoto.

7 Network Rail G Bichener Testimonial Infrastructure
8 Otb Engineering E Brisco Testimonial Infrastructure
12 Waterman Group M Marinoni Testimonial Infrastructure

How Can We Help?

Let’s discuss your requirements and see how our expertise can help on your next project.

Plowman Craven has 60 years’ experience providing integrated measurement and consultancy services to the property and infrastructure markets.

Neil Thompson Plowman Craven

Talk to our expert

01582 765566
nthompson@plowmancraven.co.uk

Neil Thompson

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UAV drone surveying services - Plowman Craven

UAV drone surveying services - Plowman Craven

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UAV BIM Model Fly-Through

UAV BIM Model Fly-Through

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Plowman Craven - Vogel R3D Point Cloud

Plowman Craven - Vogel R3D Point Cloud

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