Rail (Earthworks-monitoring-system)

Earthworks Monitoring System

  • Posted by Adam Cousins

Part of the L.B. Foster family of remote condition monitoring solutions is the new 'Award Winning' Insight Earthworks remote failure detection system which has been installed in a pilot site called Little Hagloe.

Little Hagloe is located on the coastal rail line adjacent to the River Severn north of Chepstow in Gloucestershire. The site has a history of a number of failures of the embankment. Network Rail required a system to be installed that could notify them when a failure occurred.

Customers like Network Rail need to know when a potential landslip or earthworks issue arrives and thus preventing major problems as seen in post landslip events. This can cause delays, train stoppages and in some serious cases, train derailment.

The LB Foster solution utilises a LiDAR monitoring system and was installed on the site to detect failures that could affect the passing of trains. The system’s LiDAR units scan the slope, comparing previous scans to detect small movements of the embankment. Vegetation is removed from the data measured by a custom algorithm in the LiDAR Software. The algorithm also ignores movements of people and animals and does not alarm on transient events. The system at the site comprises four LiDAR sensor heads, a local processing unit and a mobile telecommunications router to pass data to the on-line reporting system. The system uses local 240VAC power that is stepped down to 12V and 24V power to the processor and LiDAR heads.


  • Cloud stored data
  • continuous reporting
  • HD photo images
  • night time Infra-red application
  • fast to deploy

Ground Engineering Award 2021

This solution has won the Equipment Innovation Category at the prestigious Ground Engineering Awards in 2021. The award recognises excellence through new product or technology development for the ground engineering industry.

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