Matt Lock - Rail Sales Manager

The new Leica RCD30 camera is presently the only one in the market which is able to collect 80 MP RGBN multispectral imagery perfectly co-registered.

Matt Lock - Rail Sales Manager

With over 12 years of experience in the industry, Matt Lock has been involved in sales since March 2000, working with customers in the rail sector. As the equipment and customer requirements evolved, Matt began to focus on the rail industry specifically from December 2008, whilst also specialising in Monitoring.

“I have heard ballasted track referred to as a “living thing” because it moves, wears and deteriorates over time, so monitoring the rail environment, be it the track-bed, earthworks or related structures is very important for the safe running of the railway.”

The rail industry presents unique challenges and is staffed with dedicated people, passionate about what they do. Matt describes rail engineering as a fascinating subject area, encompassing 3D survey, track design, BIM, setting-out, 3D machine control, tamping and monitoring. The working environment can be very dynamic with different professionals sharing the site with a variety of heavy plant.

Matt’s background as an Engineering Land Surveyor has stood him in good stead as a solid understanding of the geospatial world, especially the practical applications of coordinate systems, the importance of good quality survey control, the difference between accuracy and precision, setting-out tolerances and digital data management are very important. Working in the rail industry for so long has taught him a huge amount about the different stages of the rail lifecycle and how teams work together.

“This is really important when proposing joined-up solutions because we have a wide variety of hardware, software and services to choose from.”

Safety and productivity are the biggest drivers in the rail industry, whilst some of the largest challenges we continue to face are access to the railway infrastructure and also the volume of people coming into the industry. Matt has noted a number of new initiatives to encourage more young people to become part of the “orange army”, and he believes that the technology Leica have at our disposal today will help to encourage them in.

“The adoption of digital technology has progressed massively over the years. From using 1-person total stations to 3D BIM designs; replacing pegs, nails and tapes with lasers and 3D machine control; static 3D laser scanning to mobile, high speed point-cloud and image capture; manually reading geotechnical sensors to satellite and wireless remote sensor monitoring. As mobile communications have improved, we have seen a greater ability to connect to central cloud services from the site, enabling data sharing between stakeholders, wherever they may be, to become much easier.”

The rail industry has seen the use of imagery becoming more and more important over the years, and with the GS18I GNSS Rover now in the market, Matt can see real added value for people surveying and mapping the rail environment. Not only can they record georeferenced images, but they can also measure points on those images on-site or back at the office, greatly improving productivity and safety because they only need to access one side of the track.

“Safety is key, and with the “boots off ballast” initiative I believe fewer people will be required to capture data on-site and also build the infrastructure.”

As we look to the future, with more widespread use of robotic vehicles and drones, albeit potentially remotely controlled along with a greater synchronisation of survey, design and as-built data, Matt believes that rail infrastructure will soon become self-monitoring, enabling maintenance to be predicted and potentially even “self-healing”. Because of time and access constraints, a lot of the work is undertaken at night, Matt and our rail team understand the customers requirement to work at unsociable times and are committed to supporting them.

Do you have an enquiry around the rail industry and Leica Geosystems, then you can connect with Matt on LinkedIn.


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