Network Rail launches new census database to tackle trees on the line

Credit: Network Rail.
Credit: Network Rail.

Millions of pounds could be saved and dozens of service delays reduced thanks to the launch of a new tree census database, Network Rail has said.

Using data compiled from aerial surveying, Network Rail will be able to identify and target trees that are at risk of falling onto the railway before problems arise.

Heat maps will indicate higher priority areas or overhanging trees that need immediate attention and allow for more efficient maintenance of the rail network.

By clicking on specific areas, cluster data shows how many trees exist and their height, width and location.

The census is the latest offering from Network Rail’s ‘Offering Rail better Information Services’ (ORBIS), a programme which has saved the firm £207 million by collating and analysing data to make ‘smarter decisions’.

More than 10 million trees have been catalogued across 20,000 miles of track for the survey.