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Proceedings Paper

Non-destructive remote sensing technologies for locating subsurface anomalies on railroad track beds
Author(s): Gary J. Weil
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Paper Abstract

Railroads are a vital transportation link with tracks traversing thousands of miles throughout the United States. When this link fails, the resultant damage costs millions of dollars. Track failure, attributed to moisture trails and erosion voids in the rock ballast and subsoils that support the tracks, slowly deteriorate the rail bed to a critical point in which iron rail shifts occur. All railroad lines experience failures on a regular basis, but the recent flood of 1993, that inundated thousands of square miles of land and hundreds of miles of railroad tracks in the midwestern US, 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 Infrared 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: 30 June 1995
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 2458, Nondestructive Evaluation of Aging Railroads, (30 June 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.212691
Show Author Affiliations
Gary J. Weil, EnTech Engineering, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2458:
Nondestructive Evaluation of Aging Railroads
Donald E. Gray; Daniel H. Stone, Editor(s)

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