Drone experts tout the technology’s potential to boost rail efficiency, security
In an article in its March 2017 edition, Progressive Railroading magazine explores the promises and challenges of integrating unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) into railroad operations. The magazine reached out to Dennis Wierzbicki of Unmanned Experts for his perspective on the industry’s accelerating embrace of UAVs.
“We like to say that using a drone is better, faster, cheaper and safer, “says Dennis Wierzbicki, rail industry advisor for Unmanned Experts Inc., which conducts rail-bridge inspections with UAVs and offers general drone consulting and training.
“Because drones are small and nimble, they can more easily access places that otherwise would be precarious to reach. That means less risk of injury for railroad workers, Wierzbicki said.”
The article goes on to discuss Class I railroad BNSF’s project, approved by the FAA, to test long range UAV flights along its tracks. It discusses other benefits of UAVs, such as providing inspection videos and reports directly to home offices; supporting implementation of positive train control (PTC) with surveys of right of way, radio towers, and switch locations, and quick evaluations of derailments or chemical spills. Read the Progressive Railroading article here.