An assessment of transition zone performance

Coelho, B., Holscher, P., Priest, J., Powrie, W. and Barends, F. (2011) An assessment of transition zone performance Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part F: Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit, 225, (2), pp. 129-139. (doi:10.1177/09544097JRRT389).


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Transition zones between railway tracks on embankments or natural ground, and fixed substructures such as bridges and culverts, typically require extensive maintenance to retain acceptable track geometry. These high maintenance costs and the potential to cause delays to train services are of major concern for railway infrastructure managers. In view of the importance of the problem, surprisingly little research has been carried out to identify the fundamental causes of the poor performance of transition zones. To better understand the physical mechanisms involved, an extensive monitoring and investigation programme was undertaken on a typical transition zone in the netherlands, comprising reinforced concrete approach slabs linking the normal track onto a concrete culvert. Accelerations and velocities of the track, soil and approach slabs in response to passenger trains were measured, from which displacements were calculated. In addition, track settlements and pore water pressures were monitored over a 1-year period. This article presents and discusses the measurements made. The results highlight the problems associated with track quality at a transition zone, including the large dynamic displacements induced during train passage and the tendency for ongoing long-term movements. The implications of these for design and maintenance are discussed

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1177/09544097JRRT389
ISSNs: 0954-4097 (print)
Keywords: transition zones, dynamic displacements, dynamic monitoring, geophones, accelerometers, long-term monitoring
Subjects: T Technology > TF Railroad engineering and operation
ePrint ID: 185719
Date :
Date Event
March 2011Published
Date Deposited: 11 May 2011 07:25
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2017 02:16
Further Information:Google Scholar

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