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Proceedings Paper

Locating railroad track bed subsurface defects utilizing nondestructive remote sensing technologies
Author(s): Richard J. Graf; Leann M. Forister; Gary J. Weil
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Paper Abstract

Railroad track failure, attributed to moisture trails and erosion voids in the rock ballast and subsoils that support the tracks, slowly deteriorate the railbed to a critical point in which iron rail shift occur. All railroad lines experience failures on a regular basis, but the recent Flood of '93, that inundated thousands of square miles of land and hundreds of miles of railroad tracks in the midwestern United States, brought a new impetus to quickly locate and repair these hidden subsurface defect areas. This paper illustrates a new technology combination of nondestructive remote sensing, computer-enhanced IR thermography and ground penetrating radar, that was used to detect buried moisture trails and erosion voids of railroad track beds. This technology combination is described in theory and by discussion of a case study based upon a successful project, conducted immediately following the flood, for Burlington Northern Railroad.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 March 1994
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 2245, Thermosense XVI: An International Conference on Thermal Sensing and Imaging Diagnostic Applications, (21 March 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.171167
Show Author Affiliations
Richard J. Graf, EnTech Engineering, Inc. (United States)
Leann M. Forister, EnTech Engineering, Inc. (United States)
Gary J. Weil, EnTech Engineering, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2245:
Thermosense XVI: An International Conference on Thermal Sensing and Imaging Diagnostic Applications
John R. Snell, Editor(s)

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