SUPPLIED | Queensland Rail

DOZENS of innovative new sensors have been installed across the Toowoomba Range to help detect land movement and provide valuable information to Queensland Rail engineers to help improve safety. 

Queensland Rail’s Acting Head of Regional Scott Cornish said the devices, known as ‘Kurloo’ sensors, were designed and manufactured in Brisbane to help detect real-time risks to the rail corridor. 

“We’ve been exploring how innovative technology can identify land movement on the Toowoomba Range, which is incredibly important in helping us minimise disruptions to passenger and freight services that use the West Moreton Line,” Mr Cornish said. 

The location of the ‘Kurloo’ sensors on the Toowoomba Range. IMAGE: Queensland Rail

“The ‘Kurloo’ systems were placed on one embankment during significant rainfall events last year and helped our engineers retrieve invaluable land movement data from areas they were unable to access.

“Following the successful trial, 35 newly upgraded devices have been installed on nine embankments to monitor the impact heavy rainfall has on the mountainous territory and reduce unplanned closures of the West Moreton system, which provides an important link to the Port of Brisbane.”

In addition to this technology, Queensland Rail is investing $37 million in the Toowoomba Slope Stabilisation Project to ensure the safety and reliability of the rail network. 

“By trialling new effective innovations, we can help support traditional activities and be better informed about risks in the environment and target investment accordingly, paving the way for more safe and reliable network operations,” Mr Cornish said.

By using cutting edge technology, ‘Kurloo’ can measure real-time displacement, giving daily readings with an accuracy within 3mm which helps inform Queensland Rail teams when inspections are required. 

‘Kurloo’ technology co-founder and CEO Lee Hellen said long-term the technology will continue to collect accurate displacement data. 

“This will enable engineers to make better-informed decisions about the stability of a structure or landform,” Mr Hellen said. 

“By collecting accurate data on displacement, geotechnical engineers can have more certainty and confidence when undertaking qualitative assessments, enabling risk mitigation initiatives to occur more quickly and preventing further movement or degradation on site.” 

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