Using Ground-penetrating Radar to Promote the Investigating Efficiency in Mud Pumping Disaster of Railways


  • Chihping Kuo
  • Chihhao Hsu
  • Yenyu Chen
  • Chinwei Wu
  • Hongyi Wang
  • Dewei Chen
  • YiXuan Lin


mud pumping, railway bed, ground-penetrating radar, disaster


Currently about 85% of the railway structure is constructed traditionally in Taiwan, which means the foundation of railways is composed by in-situ soil materials and covered by ballast, sleepers and tracks. The rail is continued by fishplates and then bolted. While train passes here, the deflection caused by repeated loads. The repeatedly force transfers through ballast to the saturated foundation, may create vacuum to draw phenomenon, called pump effect or mud pumping. It could lead to serious train derailment capsized.

Present mud pumping detection method has to be performed during the non-operating time at night by visual. However, this approach may have omissions and shortcomings perspective concerns, and slow to find disasters during the rainy season. Using non-destructive testing techniques (ground-penetrating radar) to inspect the quality of rail bed is widely in foreign. However, detecting the distribution of mud beneath rail is an attractive subject here. By the usage of mention technology in this research, this technology is expected to be promoted.

This study has been agreed by the official administration, Taiwan Railway Bureau, to be carried out in Nanwan branch in Hsinchu by using ground-penetrating radar. Comparing with the visual inspection results, the mud pumping can be verified. Where most serious mud pumping phenomenon observed was open to prove the function. The study is expected to launch the road bed structure further rehabilitation plans and preventative maintenance engineering. Furthermore, cost due to misjudgment is expected to be saved and traffic safety improved.


“Ground-penetrating radar,”, May 26, 2016.




How to Cite

C. Kuo, “Using Ground-penetrating Radar to Promote the Investigating Efficiency in Mud Pumping Disaster of Railways”, Proc. eng. technol. innov., vol. 4, pp. 49–51, Oct. 2016.