Geotechnical rheological modeling of ballasted railway tracks considering the effect of principal stress rotation

Canadian Science Publishing
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 2022, 0, (ja)
Issue Date:
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The rotation of principal stress direction experienced by the soil elements in a railway track substructure during a train passage influences the magnitude of accumulated settlement. However, the existing methods to evaluate the track response under repeated train loads disregard the influence of principal stress rotation (PSR). This article presents a novel approach for assessing the behavior of ballasted railway tracks incorporating the contribution of PSR on track deformation. The proposed technique employs a geotechnical rheological model to evaluate the track behavior, in which the material plasticity is captured through plastic slider elements. The influence of PSR is accounted for by extending an existing constitutive relationship for the slider elements for the substructure layers, which is successfully validated against experimental data reported in the literature. The results reveal that PSR causes significant cumulative deformation in the substructure layers, and disregarding it in the analysis leads to inaccurate predictions. The proposed approach is then applied to an open track-bridge transition with heterogeneous support conditions, in which the differential settlement is found to be largely influenced by PSR. The findings from this study highlight the importance of including the effect of PSR in predictive models for a reliable evaluation of track performance.
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