An Integrated System for Accurate Tie and Ballast Condition Assessment


With trends in increasing rail traffic and the related increases in total annual tonnage hauled, the ability to apply consistent and regular maintenance procedures for the efficient management of track infrastructure in the context of diminishing track access times, and limited maintenance budgets is becoming increasingly more difficult. The historical approach of scheduling large consolidated zones for maintenance and rehabilitation is being challenged by the belief that a more detailed and accurately referenced analysis of in-situ track infrastructure condition would allow improved and more cost-effective asset management and maintenance decisions. Discussions with rail operators have identified that detailed track assessments (ballast and tie) must accurately identify, reference, and quantify localized deficiencies in both the ballast and tie components of the rail structure.

To meet these rail industry needs, Rail Radar™ has developed and implemented a sophisticated system for the non-destructive assessment of ballast and tie condition. This system integrates unique multi-channel ground penetrating radar (GPR), with high-resolution rail centered downward digital imagery, real-time differential global positioning system (GPS) and linear referencing technologies.