Track geometry 2020. Information For Rail Career Professionals From Progressive Railroading Magazine

Noble Horvath

A truck-mounted, high-speed version of the Omnicon Balfour Beatty TrueTrak™ Geometry Autonomous Measurement System.
Photo – Balfour Beatty

Compiled by Pat Foran, Editor

Balfour Beatty

Omnicom Balfour Beatty (OBB) produces specialist systems for infrastructure measurement, automated inspection and surveying. 

OBB supplies the systems used by Network Rail in the U.K. for track geometry measurement and automated visual inspection, and “there is an increasing move toward autonomous infrastructure measurement to free up train paths and allow more frequent measurement,” Balfour Beatty officials said in an email. Many new fleets have required autonomous measurement systems, which OBB has supplied through the vehicle OEMs. The company also supplies the systems to rail companies in other countries,  including a U.S. Class I and “several Japanese operators,” company officials said.

Meanwhile, Balfour Beatty’s new TrueTrak™ track geometry system is designed for “easy body or truck fitment, and includes a data processing system that provides measurement

Read More

Engineer builds the world’s first plasma-based Star Wars’ lightsaber

Noble Horvath



a man and a woman standing in a room: MailOnline logo


© Provided by Daily Mail
MailOnline logo

A popular YouTuber has created the first functioning lightsaber, using propane gas burning at around 4,000°C to create a retractable plasma beam.

Canadian James Hobson, known as ‘the Hacksmith’, has a following of ten million subscribers and works on turning popular science fiction items into reality.  

Inspired by a love of Star Wars, he has previously made various lightsabers, but wanted to produce ‘the world’s first, retractable, plasma-based’ version.



a man and a woman standing in a room: Canadian James Hobson, known as 'the Hacksmith', has a following of ten million subscribers and works on turning popular science fiction items into a reality. He claims to have built 'the world's first, retractable, plasma-based lightsaber'


© Provided by Daily Mail
Canadian James Hobson, known as ‘the Hacksmith’, has a following of ten million subscribers and works on turning popular science fiction items into a reality. He claims to have built ‘the world’s first, retractable, plasma-based lightsaber’

For this, the internet-famous engineers used liquid petroleum gas, a fuel tucked away in many sheds and often used to power barbecues.  

This is stored in a custom-built backpack, and travels to the

Read More