One of the guest speakers for the Thursday, 29 October 2020 American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) webinar was J. Riley Edwards, RailTEC Senior Research Scientist and Senior Lecturer. Riley presented on the topic “Using 3D Lasers & AI Innovations in Track Inspection” with Cam Stuart, Program Manager, Office of Research, Development, and Technology, Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Richard Fox-Ivey, Principal Consultant, Rail Industry, Railmetrics.
This webinar described the field deployment and validation of a new approach being developed in partnership with the FRA that could help railroads with track inspection. This new approach pairs three-dimensional (3D) machine vision with Artificial Intelligence (a deep convolutional neural network) and change detection technology. The speakers presented details relating to the process for 3D image capture on the High Tonnage Loop at TTCI, training the Artificial Intelligence for feature identification, and the detection of changes related to clips, spikes, end of tie ballast levels and joint bar bolting between repeat runs.