Grant funds UMass railway project

A team of University of Massachusetts Lowell civil engineers, led by faculty members from the school’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, have received a $1 million grant from the US Department of Transportation’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration to develop an automated inspection system for the country’s railways. Using ground-penetrating radar, lasers, geographic information, and global-positioning technology, the system aims to check conditions of rails, ties, and railbeds more efficiently and accurately than traditional ground-based methods. A Web-based information system is also being developed to collect research data. The project research team will be led by professors Yuanchang Xie and Tzuyang Yu of UMass Lowell and will include participants from five universities as well as three graduate students from UMass Lowell.