Field assessment of railway ballast degradation and mitigation using geotextile

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Journal Article
Geotextiles and Geomembranes, 2020, 48, (3), pp. 275-283
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© 2019 Elsevier Ltd Rail tracks continue to deform due to degradation of ballast under the application of heavy train traffic. The resulting track deformations often lead to drainage impairment as well as loss of resiliency. For track replenishment, deep screening of ballast is usually adopted by Indian Railway (IR) either after 10 years or passage of 500 MGT traffic, whichever is earlier. To study the effectiveness of geotextile on track stability and assess possible reductions in maintenance costs, a layer of woven geotextile was installed at the ballast-subgrade interface in Bhusawal-Akola central railway section of IR which is the present study area. The results show that the amount of degradation and fouling are different in UP and DN tracks due to inherent variation in traffic characteristics. This study also shows that the placement of geotextile in the track has led to prolonged maintenance cycle with favorable implications on cost and track shutdown periods. The findings of the present case study results will be useful for IR to reduce the ballast procurement and reuse of discarded material during deep screening in future.
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