Enhancement of ballasted rail track performance using geosynthetics

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Geotechnical Special Publication, 2011, (220 GSP), pp. 222 - 230
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The requirement of keeping a competitive edge against other means of transportation has increased the pressure on the railway industry to improve its efficiency and decrease the maintenance costs. In this paper, several solutions are presented to improve rail track foundations including optimum particle ballast grading and confining pressure as well as stabilising tracks overlying soft soils employing different techniques. This study specifically assesses the influence of shoulder ballast and its combination with geosynthetics to reduce the track settlement due to train load. Two dimensional plane strain finite element model is adopted to simulate the track deformation. Furthermore, the potential use of geosynthetics combined with recycled and blended ballast for reduction of rail displacement is addressed. The different location of geosynthetics in rail track substructure is examined. Rail track performance can be improved by including wider shoulder ballast with geosynthetic layer, and recycled and blended ballast reinforced with geosynthetics can be used during maintenance operation to curtail future track deformation. © 2011 ASCE.
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