Ramming Renaissance: Railroads are Turning to the Established Method of Pipe Ramming to Rehab and Install Key Ditching and Drainage Components

Pipe ramming is being used more often in railroad maintenance, because it offers a number of key advantages, depending on the size and depth of the pipe to be laid. Ramming is defined as "a trenchless method for installation of steel pipes or casings, in which a pneumatic tool is used to hammer the pipe or casing into the ground, while the excess soil from creating the borehole is removed to the surface." Steel casing sizes can range widely, from four inches to 147 inches, a world record. Most are between 24 and 60 inches. Typically, the ramming project is for a short and shallow pipe, between 100 and 150 feet long and no more than 20 feet deep, though these dimensions can be expanded, given proper equipment and preparation. It is primarily used for horizontal applications, but it can be used vertically in pile driving or micro-piling. A key advantage, especially for railroads where tracks run on the surface above the pipe, is the reduction of ground loss. An augur pulls soil out of the hole, which can create a void, hump, or snag. Ramming minimizes the chances of undermining tracks, which makes it much safer.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Photos;
  • Pagination: pp 31-33
  • Serial:

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01105503
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: UC Berkeley Transportation Library
  • Files: BTRIS, TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 3 2008 6:28PM