Fugro Progresses on 1,500-Kilometer Ground Penetrating Radar Survey for SNCF
Fugro has reached the halfway mark in data collection as part of a 4-year contract to survey trackbed for French rail operator, SNCF.
Under the framework, which runs to 2018, the global survey specialist is collecting ground penetrating radar (GPR) data from around 1,500 kilometres of the Intercité classic network in the south-east of France. As well as being on schedule with collection, Fugro is sending data snapshots for each kilometre completed to give SNCF engineers early visibility of key track ballast values.
The digital reporting format has been modified as the project has progressed to include embedded video, enabling the user to view a 50-metre window of track which is geo-referenced alongside data on trackbed construction and ballast condition. Deliverables include moisture variation, fouling and intermixing at the ballast to sub-base boundary.
Geophysicists from Fugro are carrying out the radar surveys using their modular GPR system mounted to SNCF engineering trains. Trackbed data are fed back to an office-based analysis team to calibrate and verify results.
Armed with the broad view of changes in structure and condition that is provided by GPR, engineers from SNCF are better equipped to target more detailed investigation based on a reduced number of highly targeted trial holes and, in turn, to prioritise maintenance.
Fugro provides a range of track evaluation and asset management services through its specialist Fugro RailData team. The SNCF contract was awarded following a competitive bidding process in 2013/14.