Laser Rail Inspection System (LRAIL™)

Railmetrics™ delivers an entirely new and more cost effective means to inspect railway track assets with the Laser Rail Inspection System (LRAIL).

Most track inspection sensors in the industry today are limited to a single function; they measure a specific parameter such as gauge, or perform a single task, such as imaging or tie grading, which can be an inefficient use of valuable railway resources and track windows.

The LRAIL delivers greater return of investment by performing a multi-functional inspection using 2D imaging and 3D scanning in a single pass with fully automated analysis using Artificial Intelligence.

The LRAIL captures an impressive 1 mm X and Y, and 0.1 mm Z, resolution scan of the rails, ties and ballast area at speeds up 60 km/h at 1mm intervals (suitable for high-rail mounting), 120 km/h at 2mm intervals, and 180 km/h at 3mm intervals (suitable for dedicated test cars and autonomous box cars).

The LRAIL’s Artificial Intelligence algorithms automatically measure and detect changes related to gauge, cross level, alignment, spikes, elastic fasteners, tie plates, joint gap, joint bar bolting, rail surface wear and tie condition, turnouts, road crossings and more .

Sensor Technology That is Proven in More than 45 Countries

The LRAIL leverages Pavemetrics prolific LCMS® technology; with nearly 400 units in usein more than 50 countries, the LCMS is hands-down the most widely adopted andtrusted sensor of its kind.

Versatile Installation Options for Almost Any Inspection Platform

The LRAIL can be mounted on virtually any platform that is required to perform inspections. Ranging from hy-rail trucks or work equipment to in-revenue service box cars or locomotives.

Simultaneous Geometry Measurement, 2D Imaging and 3D Scanning

By capturing both 2D images and 3D profiles all in the same pass, and including Artificial Intelligence-based data processing, the LRAIL can easily replace multiple legacy measurement systems. A savings of not only cost and complexity but in time spent performing routine inspections as well.

Artificial Intelligence-based Inspection and Change Detection

The LRAIL’s advanced Deep Neural Network automatically detects railway components, assesses their condition and detects changes between repeat runs.

Non-proprietary Output Files With No Additional Software Required

The LRAIL outputs result data into standard output files such as CSV, XML, LAS (3D pointcloud) and SHP (GIS outputs), so that the user can leverage the viewing tools they currently have.

Independently Verified and Field-proven Results

Independently Verified and Field-proven ResulThe inspection process is fully computer-driven and objective, with results being just as accurate, and much more repeatable, than manual inspections. The LRAIL's performance has also been field-tested and is currently used in an automated track change detection research program lead by the United States Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).

See it in action!

Click on the left image to access a high resolution 3D scans video from the LRAIL.

Key features

  • Inspection at speeds up to 180 km/h

  • Supports narrow, standard and wide gauge measurements

  • Simultaneous 3D point cloud and and 2D high-resolution Imaging

  • Daytime and night-time operation, immunity to shadows

  • Fully automated Artificial Intelligence-based railway inspection:

    • Change detection

    • Wooden tie grading (location, skew angle, crack length, crack depth, crack width, tie grade)

    • Concrete tie grading (location, skew angle, crack length, crack depth, crack width, tie grade)

    • Clip inspection (location, type, loose, missing, damaged, covered)

    • Crossing inspection (location, crossing point detection, wear profiles)

    • Switch inspection (location, toe detection, toe damage, foot detection)

    • Rail open surface damage (chips, cracks)

    • Joint detection and gap measurement

    • Joint bar bolt counting

    • Gauge width, cross-level between rails, alignment

    • Railhead top and side wear (also grooved rail wear)

  • Data are automatically location-referenced using mile-point and inertially corrected GPS (x, y and z)

  • Compact; sensors weigh only 13 kg each and can be mounted on a high-rail vehicle or a dedicated inspection car

  • Rugged components mounted in environmentally-sealed enclosures

  • Low-power consumption

  • Data compression algorithms to minimize storage requirements


  • 28,000 Hz scanning frequency

  • 60 km/h at 1mm intervals, 120 km/h at 2mm intervals and 180 km/h at 3mm intervals

  • 1 mm transverse resolution

  • 0.1 mm vertical resolution

  • 0.25 mm vertical accuracy

LRAIL Data sheet

Learn more about our LRAIL sensors.


LRAIL Comparison to Parameters Measured by Track Geometry Measuring Trolley (TMGTs) and Manually Operated Devices
Owing to the design of TGMTs and MODs, the EN 13848-1:2003+A1:2008 requirements have to be modified. Therefore, this annex lists in tabular form the minimum requirements for each track geometry parameter which can be measured by TGMTs and MODs. Requirements differing from EN 13848-1:2003+A1:2008 are highlighted in bold. The requirements of EN 13848-1:2003+A1:2008 are shown only for comparison purposes.

System Specifications
LRAIL Systems Specifications

Certification and Export Related Documents

TUV Certification
EC Declaration of conformity
FCC Form
FDA Form

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© 2023 Railmetrics™ by Pavemetrics Systems Inc.

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