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Ribblehead Viaduct

A full, in depth combination scan of Terrestrial Scanning and Drone Photography of a Grade II Listed Victorian Viaduct, critical in managing this heritage site.

Batty Moss Viaduct, in the North Yorkshire Dales National Park, more commonly known as Ribblehead Viaduct, carries the Settle-Carlisle Railway through the heart of the mountainous backbone of the UK. It’s sleek lines, robust form and setting in the centre of the bleak moors, place it high on any list of iconic Victorian heritage sites, as both a celebration of engineering and; for some, a reminder of man’s determination to blast aside our natural heritage in the pursuit of progress and profit.

The line, long since lost as any practical commercial alternative to East and West mainlines, has however, rapidly grown in viability as a source of tourist revenue. Network Rail required the viaduct to be assessed for maintenance as part of normal practice, but owing to its listed building status, required low impact surveying as far as possible. Commendium were requested to perform a forensic scan of the whole structure and approaches to act as a base set of data from which to assess and prioritise necessary works. The scan was straight-forward, nothing out of the ordinary for a RIEGL VZ-400 device.

The rapid data capture with the RIEGL VZ-400 and ease of processing highlighted the productivity of the hardware and software systems. This, together with unique point attributes derived from the waveform data and LiDAR, and various options to interrogate the data within RiSCAN PRO meant that this project was completed efficiently. The real benefit came from observing results in reflectance mode. Damp areas are the most important with regards to deterioration of the bridge, as water both erodes the mortar and cracks the stonework when it freezes.  In reflectance mode, the scans revealed many more areas of damp on the bridge, areas which suggested attention to drainage was needed, thus informing engineers on which areas required the most attention. 

For further information and a fully rendered flythrough on Network Rail's website, click here

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