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Fugro investigates track ballast and foundation layers using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) and other geophysical methods to inform engineers on thickness, condition, fouling and any underlying geotechnical issues.

Insight from GPR enables safer, more efficient asset management by providing the information needed to effectively plan and target maintenance throughout the operational life of the track.

Rapid surveys are conducted across routes and networks providing safer, more cost-effective solutions with minimum disruption to services.


GPR surveys can reveal a variety of information on ballast condition, enabling engineers to make informed decisions

With two decades’ experience of trackbed surveys, we are well placed to help you plan and undertake comprehensive surveys that reveal the impact of subsurface conditions on track performance.

Mounted onto conventional passenger trains and road-rail vehicles, our GPR systems survey hundreds of kilometres per day at line speed. This data provides network owners and asset managers with an accurate appraisal of ballast structure variability, and conditions such as thickness and fouling.

Detailed investigations provide engineers and contractors with forensic insight into deeper ground conditions, including at locations either side of the tracks, which can be of particular value where the railway is built on slopes or earthworks.

Other applications of forensic geophysical investigation include mapping buried services and testing concrete slabtrack and sleepers.


We provide the information needed to plan effective maintenance, perform quality checks and investigate subsurface issues safely and cost-effectively:

  • Reduced disruption – surveys are conducted with little or no disruption to scheduled train movements
  • Improved safety and less environmental impact – fewer people working on the track, less need for heavy equipment and more intelligent targeting of maintenance resources
  • A flexible approach – whether you require 1,000 km of asset data or the geotechnical investigation of a 100 m settlement problem, we use the methodology appropriate to your needs
  • Highly mobile – our systems are modular and highly portable, allowing quick and efficient mobilisation and set-up anywhere in the world

Contact us about our services