Walking Stick™

Rail Infrastructure
Integrity Solution

The integrity of rail infrastructures is at the heart of safe and economical transport systems, and the rails themselves being a vital part.

Early crack detection in the head of rails is not only vital to safety, but also leads to a well-managed maintenance program. A tool that can assess the severity of cracking and give information on whether to re-rail a section of track or the problem can be controlled by locally grinding the rail head, is invaluable; for considerable cost savings and avoiding unnecessary re-railing projects.

Working with rail partners, a product was developed to meet these requirements. Integrating alternative current field measurement (ACFM®) technology, Walking Stick helps assess the integrity of rail tracks by detecting and sizing surface-breaking defects in rail heads. Walking Stick indicates defect severity by reporting crack pocket depth (the depth of the defect along its propagation angle) and is capable of discriminating between different types of rail-head defects such as head checking, gauge corner cracking, squats, and lipping.

General Specifications


700 × 300 × 1000 mm (27.5 × 11.8 × 39.4 in.)


21 kg (46.3 lb)

Operating temperature range

–20–40°C (–4–104°F)

Environmental protection


Power supply

Integral 12 V battery supply, rechargeable by domestic 110 V or 240 V AC 40/50 Hz supply

Typical operating speed

2–3 km/h (1.5–2 mph)