3D Laser scanning technique for the inspection and monitoring of railway tunnels

Han-Mei Chen, Cristian Ulianov, Ramy Shaltout

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Railway tunnel inspection and monitoring has predominantly been a manual procedure, which is time-consuming and subjective, giving rise to variance in standards and quality of examinations for tunnels. Thus, alternative novel automated techniques need to be developed for a more efficient and reliable tunnel examination. The reported research aimed to investigate the application of laser scanning technique for the inspection of tunnel degradation and structural integrity. The proposed method may substitute or supplement the manual tunnel examination survey in the demand for higher efficiency, as well as standardisation of tunnel inspections. For the purpose of investigating the applicability and accuracy of laser scanning in tunnels, a set of tunnel lining models were set up for laboratory tests with the objective to determine the quality of the imaging. Initial tests were carried out using a performant laser scanner and demonstrated the feasibility of the concept. As a result, refined laboratory models were built and experiments conducted to establish the quality and precision of the imaging by laser scanning for condition monitoring of tunnels. The experimental results indicate that the laser scanning technique used in this research has high potential for detecting the tunnel condition, monitoring as depth of weathered mortar, spalling bricks etc. in a small scale, with high accuracy in static mode of scanning.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)73-84
    JournalTransport Problems: an international scientific journal
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


    • railway tunnel
    • inspection
    • monitoring
    • laser scanning


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