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  • This Event was held 8 months ago
  • West of England Section Meeting - Trackbed Investigation - Revealing Hidden Depths
  • Steve Pearson
  • Trackbed Investigation - Revealing Hidden Depths (Phil Sharpe, AECOM)

    Phil Sharpe joined British Rail Research in 1978, to work on a research project looking into the design of trackbeds for high speed lines, which led to a scientific approach to trackbed design.  At the same time trials were carried out on various geotextiles and other products that were coming on to the market and had the potential to improve the performance of the trackbed.  From a BR perspective the major challenge of the day was how to apply the knowledge gained from this research to an operational railway running on 19th century earthworks where all the work had to be done in 30-hour possessions.

    The talk covers the development of trackbed investigation since the 1970s, when there was no standardised approach to trackbed investigation or design.   It summarises the development of the methodology, starting from the good old British Rail days when much was learned but little was published, through privatisation, until the more recent realisation that a formalised process of trackbed investigation and optimisation of design could save money and minimise track maintenance. Suitable case histories are included to illustrate the various mistakes that were made on the way (including the presenters’) 

    The talk will also include more recent developments that are not incorporated into the process, such as use of geophysical techniques to reveal various trackbed properties as well as the detailed analysis of track recording car data to identify localised deterioration mechanisms.

    Meeting from 12:30 for light refreshments for a prompt 12:45 start.



  • 17/10/2018 12:45
  • 17/10/2018 14:15
  • Room 3.9, Network Rail's SN1 Offices, Station Road, Swindon, SN1 2DH
  • 1.5