NETWORK Rail are now using helicopters across the south western rail network as part of the drive to provide better journeys for passengers.
Inspecting the railway by air allows Network Rail to deliver improvements to performance, reliability and safety, with no disruption to train services.
Operating high-tech thermal and visual imaging equipment, Network Rail’s aerial operations team are able to identify the smallest of faults and inspect a wide area of infrastructure in a short space of time.
The helicopter is capable of covering the route from London's Waterloo station to Weymouth station in Dorset in around three hours, including hovering over equipment to capture the critical thermal and high definition images.
Jason Bridges, chief operating officer for Network Rail, said: ‘We are using all of the tools at our disposal to improve performance across the south western rail network to provide a better railway for passengers.’