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Site characterisation

Rail site characterisation

The biggest risks in rail construction projects are often underground. Fugro provides a clear understanding of ground conditions to reduce risk and uncertainty for rail construction and maintenance.

Whether you need specific information for a single site, or a complex regional study involving a suite of integrated geophysical and geotechnical techniques, we can help.

Site characterisation

Geotechnics and Engineering Geophysics

A thorough understanding of ground conditions is essential for predicting the performance of the trackbed, rail assets and ground underneath. By applying our extensive engineering geotechnical capabilities, we provide high resolution insights into the geological stratigraphy and structure of the ground below your tracks. Accessing depths  ranging from a few centimetres to more than a kilometre.

Our fully integrated range of geotechnical ground investigation and consultancy services are based on surface and borehole geophysics, drilling, cone penetration testing, in situ testing, and laboratory-based testing and analysis.


  • Mapping cavities and voids, mine workings, karstic features and geohazards
  • Engineering parameters, e.g. stiffness mapping in earthworks
  • Groundwater studies
  • Ground structure and stratigraphy

Structural Investigation

We provide a range of testing, inspection and assessment services for rail bridges, tunnels, station buildings and trackside assets.

Whether to investigate defects or problems at the construction stage or during the active life of a structure, we can provide information for projects such structural assessment and change of use. With over 20 years’ experience, our team has expertise in investigating construction materials and building performance using a wide range of technology. Where possible, non-intrusive methods are used, and where necessary, samples are taken for more detailed inspection and analysis.


  • Determining thickness and hidden structures
  • Investigation of cracking, voids, and delamination
  • Construction materials testing
  • Corrosion and moisture surveys
  • Utility mapping
  • Unexploded ordnance (UXO) detection surveys


Fugro’s site investigation team comprises engineers, geologists and scientists who are supported by advanced technologies and systems, many of which were developed in-house.

  • Local knowledge of soil conditions
  • Construction practices and supplier networks gained from global projects
  • Unique drilling capabilities in soft soils on all types of terrain
  • Large array of drilling and CPT capabilities
  • Certified testing laboratories
  • Outstanding HSSE systems that ensure safe performance in demanding field conditions

Contact us about our services