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    Progressive Railroading: Technology Update - Ballast Management 2020

    June 15, 2020

    by: Michael Popke

    Balfour Beatty and technology partner Zetica Rail continue to introduce new technologies and solutions designed to improve ballast and trackbed inspection "with a focus on condition-based maintenance planning and a vision to predict and prevent," company officials said in an email.

    Zetica’s Advanced Rail Radar (ZARR) offers an autonomous data capture, high-speed ground penetrating radar solution for reporting on the condition of trackbed "at higher speeds than ever before," Balfour Beatty officials said. Integration with the company’s autonomous geometry inspection and automated vision provides enhanced insights into track and trackbed conditions. The aim: to help railroads more efficiently understand, prioritize and address asset degradation, including ballast, subgrade and drainage, and to cost-effectively target the underlying root causes of defects.

    "In 2019 our high-speed trackbed inspection systems investigated in excess of 20,000 miles of track. As railroads continue to demand an improved return on investment for track time, we expect to see these numbers grow,"

    Balfour Beatty Divisional Manager Steve Atherton said. "Through our intuitive Work Order Recommendation reporting, railroads are able to cost- effectively target and select the correct method of ballast maintenance, whether it be undercutting, shoulder cleaning, surfacing or drainage improvement."

    Balfour Beatty also provides production and switch/spot undercutting, along with yard cleaning services.

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