TerraPlus deployed for large-scale railway track stability study

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On behalf of ProRail, Witteveen+Bos conducted research into the stability of railway tracks in the Netherlands. To see, collect and share soil information in a uniform way, TerraPlus was deployed.

TerraPlus makes soil information visible and accessible

TerraPlus, developed by our engineers, played a central role in this project. The application not only facilitated the collection and processing of soil data, but also made it accessible and visible. This was essential, as soil research is the basis for any civil engineering project, including this large-scale research. The application not only contains all publicly available survey data, but also allows users to add their own investigations. Using TerraPlus, the structure of the subsurface of all railway embankments in the Netherlands was visualised. This information was used as input for the investigation into the stability of the track body, in which more than a million calculations were carried out. 

Results of the study

The study shows that some of the railway embankments may not be suitable for running faster and heavier trains over them in the future. The soil under the rails is weak, which could lead to derailments. ProRail is having the infrastructure investigated further, but assesses train traffic safe for now. The study was carried out in collaboration with Arcadis, Royal HaskoningDHV and Sweco. 

Want to know more about the investigation? Then read on here (Dutch).


Witteveen+Bos offers TerraPlus: an application made by civil engineers for other civil engineers. Data of soil research has never been so accessible.
Tweede Maasvlakte dyke TerraPlus.

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Friso Meijer Project engineer