Network Rail High Speed maintains complex infrastructure with Google Maps Platform

Network Rail High Speed maintains complex infrastructure with Google Maps Platform

Network Rail is the owner, operator and developer of railway infrastructure within Britain, meaning it controls around 20,000 miles of track, approximately 30,000 tunnels, bridges and viaducts, as well as a huge network of stations, signals and level crossings.

As Network Rail High Speed Ltd, the company also operates and maintains the High Speed 1 (HS1) route, linking London to the Eurotunnel terminal. This involves the maintenance of over 12,000 civil engineering assets, ranging from bridges and tunnels, to drainage and security fencing.

Previously, this huge network of assets was catalogued using spreadsheets, databases and other disconnected systems. As a result, engineers often struggled to access the information they needed to respond to issues, impacting their ability to repair damage quickly. To remedy this, the company opted to migrate the systems to Google Maps Platform.

With the Javascript API on Google Maps Platform, Network Rail High Speed built the NRHS Route Model app, showing assets along the route of HS1. The app utilises Google Maps’ zooming, navigation and searching controls, enabling engineers to easily locate assets.

The app also uses the Layers feature, giving engineers the ability to view details regarding an asset, including inspection reports, potential hazards and drawings. Meanwhile, Street View means the company can get close-up views of assets and their surroundings. All of this means engineers are better equipped to rapidly create repair plans and get problems fixed.

Overall, Google Maps Platform has 100 per cent of civil engineering assets layered onto it, while 75 per cent of other assets, including bridges and tunnels, have also been layered on top.

Network Rail Civil Engineer Mark O’Connor commented: "Google Maps Platform helps us manage an extremely complex infrastructure of more than 12,000 bridges, tunnels and other civil engineering assets for the UK's major high-speed rail route.”

“With Google Maps Platform, we're able to perform faster, more appropriate maintenance. Our engineers can quickly dispatch technicians to fix problems because they now have all the information about the repair at their fingertips."

(Image: https://unsplash.com/photos/z6gNt9uiyK8)

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