Geotechnical Engineering and Asset Management


Our railway geotechnical engineering and asset management research involves:

  • The whole life cycle assessment under uncertainty of railway track designs, maintenance schemes and strategies
  • Novel approaches for building new railway track and maintaining existing track
  • Providing tools to facilitate railway asset management decision-making

Through our life cycle analysis under uncertainty research we have developed an approach to appraise railway track investment that considers life cycle costs and benefits to infrastructure owners, train operators, users and the environment.

Our research into innovative solutions for track design and maintenance is founded on understanding the effects of stochastic dynamic train loads on railway track and soil behaviour via numerical modelling and laboratory experimentation and, thereby developing solutions using micro-piling, sandgrips, under-sleeper pads and geotextiles.

Good track drainage is fundamental to the proper functioning of the railway track. However, railway drainage asset management is challenging because it involves the consideration of large interconnected assets, limited maintenance budgets, and unknown failure probabilities.

To address this, we are developing new low-carbon drainage products and risk analysis decision support systems to enable effective drainage asset management at the strategic, tactical and operations levels.

Fundamental research into the above aspects is carried out by our cohort of PhD students. Their work feeds into the products of our research that are used by the industry worldwide.

Research projects include:

  • A Risk-Informed Whole Life Cost Tool for Railway Design and
  • Maintenance Appraisal (RiTRACKTM)
  • Risk-based models for maintenance and renewal of drainage
  • Use of innovative low-maintenance materials for drainage componentsInvestigation into the effectiveness of geotextiles in railway track foundations
  • Improving the stiffness of railway track using micro-piles and under-sleeper pads
  • Improving the Stiffness of Existing Railway Track (ISERT)

If you would like to get in touch, please email: