On the morning of 20 November 2018, a six-carriage commuter train derailed between the towns of Terrassa and Manresa, around 30 miles north of Barcelona. The incident, caused by a landslide, left one person dead and 44 injured.

As is sadly often the case, it takes a tragedy – such as the kind mentioned above – to prompt deeper research into the prevention of such incidents on the tracks.A case in point, the landslide derailment in Catalonia is cited in a recent research project into the potential benefits of using remote sensing technologies for railway infrastructure monitoring.

Known as MOMIT – which stands for multi-scale observation and monitoring of railway infrastructure threats – the project’s main area of focus has been on the role drones and satellites could play in maintaining safety and efficiency across the infrastructure lifecycle.

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