Dectecting vertical lines

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Dectecting vertical lines

I have an image that has some distinct vertical lines in it.

Ive run a sobel gradient of the image (in the X direction only) and
I've gotten good responses to the lines. Unfortunately there is lot of
info in the image, so a lot of other things are detected. So I want to
extract the straight vertical lines that I have detected, from the
background stuff. Any ideas of how to do this without using the Hough
transform (as I need it to be as quick as possible)

I tried getting the orientation of each pixel , but as I am only doing
the gradient in the x direction, I only get two directions in
orientation; 0 and 90 so this is no use!

Anyone have any ideas?