RailWorks on Dec. 6 reported that it is bringing U.K.-based One Big Circle’s rail monitoring technology to the North American market, and that RailWorks Track Services LLC and L.K. Comstock National Transit LLC will be supplying and installing track and systems for MetroLink’s 5.2-mile light rail extension in Illinois.
Under RailWorks’ agreement with One Big Circle, it will supply the Automated Intelligent Video Review (AIVR) product line in North America. “The combined hardware and software of the AIVR system provides digital inspection capability that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to enable users from multiple rail disciplines to monitor rail environments remotely and safely,” according to RailWorks. It has been deployed in the U.K. with customers including Network Rail and with more than 90 companies in the supply chain accessing the data.
“Our industry is continuously changing, especially when it comes to track inspection and maintenance programs,” said Kevin Riddett, President and CEO of RailWorks, which provides track construction, electrical systems construction, maintenance services, and products throughout the U.S. and Canada for major transit authorities, Class I’s, short lines, and rail-served commercial and industrial companies. “This partnership enables One Big Circle and RailWorks to provide an infrastructure solution to the market that exhibits a safe and efficient way to manage those programs.”
“We are very excited to be partnering with RailWorks … when there is an increasing demand for digital capability that advances remote asset and condition monitoring,” One Big Circle Co-founder and Director Emily Kent said.
Also, St. Clair County Transit District in Illinois has selected RailWorks’ L.K. Comstock National Transit LLC and RailWorks Track Services LLC to handle track and systems work for MetroLink’s extension from the existing Shiloh-Scott station (see map above) to the new MidAmerica St. Louis Airport station in St. Clair County.
According to RailWorks, L.K. Comstock National Transit LLC will be responsible for providing and installing traction power, signals, and communications systems, which include eight powered switches; four traction power substations; an overhead catenary system that comprises more than nine miles of catenary wire and 225 catenary poles; signal houses, including four interlocking houses; wayside signals components; and communication systems, including closed-circuit televisions, public address systems, passenger assistance telephones, a SCADA and CTS system, and associated systems duct bank.
As subcontractor, RailWorks Track Services LLC will be responsible for supplying and installing 41,000 TF of ballasted track, including 17,000 concrete ties, 86,000 LF of continuous welded rail, and 50,000 tons of ballast, RailWorks reported. Additionally, its in-house flash-butt welding operation is slated to perform approximately 1,200 flash-butt welds. According to RailWorks, special trackwork to be installed includes a #20 turnout, #10 turnout, #8 crossover, and three #8 turnouts.
Both companies will also be responsible for systems acceptance testing and commissioning, and for assisting MetroLink during systems integration testing of the new light rail transit extension.
Preparation is already underway, RailWorks said, and the project is scheduled to be delivered to St. Clair County Transit District at the end of 2025.
“Communication and technical expertise are key factors when delivering large scale transit projects,” L.K. Comstock National Transit LLC President Bill Heavin said. “It is always to the customers advantage when they hire us because we have a longstanding and successful history of working together internally to achieve the same goal of delivering projects safely, on time, and on budget.”