Contribution of base, crib, and shoulder ballast to the lateral sliding resistance of railway tracl: a geotechnical perspective

Le Pen, L and Powrie, W. (2010) Contribution of base, crib, and shoulder ballast to the lateral sliding resistance of railway tracl: a geotechnical perspective. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part F: Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit, 225, (2), 113-128. (doi:10.1177/0954409710397094).


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The sleeper to ballast interface plays a crucial role in the stability of ballasted railway track, transferring both vertical and lateral loads safely from the superstructure to the sub-base. However, current conceptual models for the behaviour of the interface are incomplete and too simplistic to assess the response of the track system to the loads exerted by modern trains. For example, the increased curving speeds associated with tilting trains introduce potentially significant combinations of vertical, lateral, and moment loading which are not explicitly considered in current assessment procedures. Also, the relative contributions of the base, crib, and shoulder ballast to lateral sliding resistance are at present poorly quantified. The behaviour of the sleeper to ballast interface was investigated in a series of tests in an apparatus capable of applying combinations of load representative of real trains. This article presents test data quantifying the relative contributions to total sliding resistance of the base, crib, and shoulder. New calculations are presented, which enable the resistance from the crib and various sizes of shoulder ballast to be quantified. The results of the experiments and calculations are compared with each other and with the literature, and reasonably consistent patterns of behaviour are identified.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1177/0954409710397094
ISSNs: 0954-4097 (print)
2041-3017 (electronic)
Related URLs:
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Civil Engineering and the Environment
ePrint ID: 189089
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 31 May 2011 15:28
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:40
Copy of RRUK 2: Universities' Centre for Rail Systems Research
Funded by: EPSRC (EP/D080207/1)
Led by: William Powrie
7 September 2006 to 6 September 2010

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