Technology Focus: The threat and opportunity of drone use
UAVs have great potential value for rail as a quick and easy means of inspecting large areas, allowing the monitoring of infrastructure for maintenance and security purposes. Network Rail recently used a drone called “the orange hornet” to monitor the rebuilding of 100 meters of infrastructure when it was damaged by winter storms. In Poland, the rail industry is using thermal imaging cameras for remote surveillance to prevent theft of coal from stationary freight trains. Drones could also allow detection of trespassers or hazards beyond the vanishing point of a normal train operator and increase system safety.