Rail Site Investigation
Ground Investigations Specialising in Cone Penetration Testing (CPT)
Lankelma are providers of specialist site investigations in the rail environment. We offer ground investigations specialising in cone penetration testing (CPT) and other in situ testing deployed from our bespoke CPT rigs. Lankelma’s fleet of CPT rigs work nationwide, are capable of testing in all areas of the trackway and are operated by qualified and highly experienced field operatives. With over 10 years of experience working in the rail industry, Lankelma are first class providers of CPTs.
CPT is a technique for soil testing that is ideal for rail investigations because it is fast, quiet, can achieve deeper penetration (depending on geology) and results are instantaneous. Producing minimal soil disturbance and spoil, CPT can characterise subsurface materials in situ, produce continuous profiles and determine soil parameters including soil type, soil density, in situ stress conditions and shear strength for use in geotechnical design.
High quality, repeatable CPT results are available real-time, which allows engineers to take decisions on site during the ground investigation. This is particularly useful when identifying the best locations for further testing, sampling and monitoring. This is a key consideration, as detection of potential problems is of paramount importance on the railway.
Lankelma have been involved in rail investigations for electrification schemes, emergency slips/faults on track, track upgrades and embankment stability work.
Rail CPT Units
Specialist Rail CPT Plants and Equipment
As the use of CPT in railway investigations has grown, Lankelma has developed specialist rail CPT plants and equipment specifically designed for ground investigations in the four main rail environments: track bed, embankments, tunnels and stations.
Lankelma’s rail CPT plant can be used with the full range of standard and specialist cones, can take samples, and be used to install instrumentation. Provided there is sufficient reaction force and a power supply, CPTs can be carried out almost anywhere.
One of the biggest innovations in rail investigation in recent years has been our road-rail CPT truck – the world’s first dedicated rail CPT truck. Arriving by road, the rail CPT truck has a central turntable mechanism which lifts it into the air and allows it to be rotated through 360°, allowing it to gain access to rail tracks at most access points. It can travel easily between track positions, can be driven backward and forward at the same speed and is self-contained, carrying two operators to position with all the testing equipment. 19 tonne capacity hydraulic rams facilitate penetration through ballast to allow soil testing in the geology beneath.
For ground investigations on other areas of the trackway, Lankelma’s rail excavator mounted CPT unit may be the answer. Mounted on the excavator arm, this runs off the machine’s hydraulic and electrical systems, so is self-contained, with the advantage that testing can be carried out up to 6m from the track. It can also be used in tunnels, pushing horizontally and even vertically downward using a swivel hitch.
To carry out specialist site investigations in tunnels and stations we have developed lightweight hand-mobilised CPT rams suitable for tight access positions. These are bolted into position to gain reaction and can test in multiple orientations. The same equipment, which is electrically powered, and therefore quiet, is suitable for testing within open stations or on platforms.
Lankelma are RISQ accredited and all on-track rail plants are network rail approved. In-house mechanics regularly inspect and maintain our rail plants to ensure we are compliant with standards and offer first class service to our clients.
Read our online text book for more information.