Automatic Ballast Sampling
Automatic ballast sampling (ABS) is a method of obtaining a sample of railway ballast and underlying strata using 1-meter long heavy duty steel tubes driven into the ground to depths of 1 - 2 meters. (Greater depths can be achieved if necessary).
The tubes, or samplers, as they are called, are driven into the ground using a pneumatic hammer powered by a hydraulic power pack. The samplers are then extracted from the ground using a hydraulic jacking system (the same power pack that is used with the hammer is used with the jack).
Inside the steel tube is a plastic liner, which holds the sample. This is then extracted from the tube and stored in a sample rack.
The samples are then brought back to be logged, photographed and sub sampled.
A report is then delivered to the client who can then see the quality of the trackbed and the underlying strata.