UK-based Heliguy, one of DJI’s largest European enterprise partners and distributors, has been awarded a nationwide contract with Network Rail as part of a drone services framework worth up to £2.6million.
Heliguy will supply, maintain, repair and service Network Rail’s drones, as well as delivering training courses to the infrastructure group’s team of in-house pilots. Network Rail runs the majority of the UK’s rail system.
The three-year contract, which can be extended to five years, will help Network Rail use drones to inspect and maintain an estimated 20,000 miles of track and 40,000 bridges and tunnels throughout its network.
“Carrying out inspections by air means the railway can be kept open and people kept safe – trains can continue to run which improves performance and reliability, and as engineers aren’t being sent onto tracks, it also improves safety,” said Ruairi Hardman, Heliguy’s Business Development Manager.
The Network Rail Unmanned Aircraft Services framework contract will focus on structures and bridge surveys, embankment checks, overhead line equipment inspections and post-incident condition examinations.
Network Rail embraces drone technology
Network Rail is set to gain from Heliguy’s access to the best of DJI’s drone technology, which includes the DJI Matrice 200 Series V2 and Phantom 4 RTK mapping drone. Both have proven to be cost-effective while improving safety as Network Rail works to make Britain’s railways more reliable.
As a National Qualified Entity under the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority, Heliguy will also deliver CAA-accredited training to Network Rail’s pilots.
“This contract award with Network Rail is the largest of its type in the UK and as such is a testament to our ability to deliver such projects at this level. The whole team at Heliguy is delighted to work with Network Rail’s UAS Programme,” – Ruairi Hardman, Heliguy’s Business Development Manager.
“The hard work of our partner Heliguy has paid off thanks to their professionalism and the reliability of the offer proposed in terms of hardware and software powered by DJI technologies and serviced by Heliguy,” said Sunny Liao, Director of Enterprise at DJI.
As part of Network Rail’s five-year, £42billion program to improve the reliability of Britain’s railways, Heliguy is set to provide a tailored and automated fleet maintenance system. The service will include a guaranteed 72-hours turnaround time and courtesy equipment where required.