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Zetica, Balfour Beatty Rail’s RASC Pod brings versatility to trackbed inspection

Written by Mischa Wanek-Libman, Editor, Railway Track & Structures; and Engineering Editor, Railway Age
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Zetica Rail and Balfour Beatty Rail call the Railway Asset Scanning Car Pod (RASC Pod) a new concept for trackbed inspection combining most elements of dedicated track recording cars on a flexible platform.

The platform can be mounted on any flatbed ranging from wagons behind an in-service train to hi-rails. The only item needed to secure the RASC Pod is a purpose designed interface plate to bolt the Pod onto the preferred vehicle. The system is completely self-contained with independent power, climate control and server/backup architecture.

The companies point out that its primary role is to provide a relatively low cost, flexible platform to collect synchronized trackbed inspection data.

Integrated systems currently include Zetica’s Advanced Rail Radar (ZARR) with customized ultra wideband and stepped frequency 3D Radar systems, ZRL200 (mobile mapping laser based on a 200Hz profiler), ZRC-LS2.4 (trackbed surface imaging system with 4x linescan cameras), track geometry with full rail profiling, ZRC-SC (stereo camera), ZRC-AS (multiple area scan cameras) and location (dual band dGPS, INS and contactless DMI).

All systems are controllable remotely via a GSM /Wi-Fi router and automatically generated status alerts and production reports allow for remote monitoring.

An RASC Pod mounted on a Canter hi-rail vehicle is currently undergoing vehicle acceptance testing for Network Rail. Representatives for Zetica anticipate receiving formal certification by the end of October 2015.

Zetica and Balfour Beatty expect to offer RASC Pod-based trackbed inspection services in the USA in 2016. Additional information on the RASC Pod is available at Balfour Beatty Rail’s REMSA booth #5526. The company is also exhibiting in RSSI booth #1434.

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