GPR for the inspection of industrial railway tracks
Industrial railway tracks are important for the loading and unloading of goods and therefore for the railway system in general. Often, industrial tracks are embedded in concrete and/or asphalt to enable trucks and other traffic across rails. Thus, most of the construction is hidden from visual inspection. If repair work is planned or if damage occurs, details of the construction have to be known for the planning of repair work and for the evaluation of damages. This paper describes the characteristics of industrial railway tracks, frequent problems and the non-destructive testing on several real sites using GPR. Typical testing problems, most of them related to construction details, are described and the application of GPR for these problems is demonstrated using data from field measurements. Data from different types of equipment are compared and benefits and limits of the method are discussed. It is shown that GPR can provide information that is required to address problems that can be found frequently on industrial railway track sites.