Collaborative Excellence: Enhancing Railway Stability and Safety through Innovative Embankment Monitoring for Network Rail
Westoning Embankment, on the line between St Pancras and Chesterfield, carries four tracks each served by Overhead Line Equipment.
Summary of works
Client: Network Rail / Donaldson Associates
Duration: 2008 – 2011
Monitoring System: Cable free tilt sensors, ARGUS Monitoring Software
Historically, slope stability issues on the embankment caused loss of ballast, resulting in a ‘rough ride’, which was routinely managed by tamping and re-ballasting the site. Throughout the course of this maintenance it was observed that the clearance between the contact wire on the catenary and the pantograph was dropping below tolerance. To evaluate whether this was caused by embankment failure undermining the OLE masts, Donaldson Associates called in ITM Monitoring, now SOCOTEC Monitoring UK Ltd, to remotely monitor the verticality of the masts.
Following a site visit, ITM Monitoring proposed a system of tilt sensors fixed in pairs, monitoring rotation of the masts both parallel and perpendicular to the track. To eliminate cross site cabling, and minimise time on site, wireless sensors were selected. One solar powered on site data logger pushed the data from site into ARGUS where the client was able to view performance data in near real time.