Traditionally, the safety critical task was carried out by workers physically walking the track to make sure there are no broken rails or joints, major defects and obstructions to train movements or signalling equipment.
Stabled at Granville, the new vehicles use laser-based technologies for track geometry, rail profile, rail corrugations and non-contact overhead wiring measurement.
Whilst this is a great step forward for maintenance, the Track Inspection team are currently encountering some difficulties in completing their work due to easily avoidable circumstances.
"My team often tells me 'we got stuck behind an all-stations again today' or 'we got pushed into the loop and delayed again,'" says Acting Maintenance Services Manager Michael Leah.
"I really want to put the message out there that the MTP vehicles operate as trains and are certified to operate on all our lines. The vehicles also run at line speed, which means they do not impede on the running of passenger services. At times, they might even be quicker than a passenger train as they don't stop at stations," says Michael.
"I'd really welcome signallers and train controllers meeting with our team and I would be happy to arrange any visits," Michael says. "While it may take time for Train Controllers and signallers to familiarise themselves with the MTPs in daily runs, the track inspection team carry out an important role and it's vital we work closely with Operations to help both teams deliver a more efficient network."
As the Track Inspection team carry out a very important service each and every day, working closer with Operations will help both teams deliver a more efficient network.