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

Le Pen, L.M. and Powrie, W. (2011) Contribution of base, crib and shoulder ballast to the lateral sliding resistance of railway track: a geotechnical perspective [in special issue: Rail Research UK: The Universities' Centre for Rail Systems Research] Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part F: Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit, 225, (2), pp. 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, horizontal 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 wnd 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)
Keywords: lateral ballast resistance, lateral resistance, ballast geometry, track stability, sleeper to ballast interface, track substructure to superstructure interface, G44 type sleeper, high speed, tilting trains, sleeper, lateral, stability, railtrack, rail, ties, shoulder, crib, ballast, base, railroad, experiment, geophones
Subjects: T Technology > TF Railroad engineering and operation
Organisations: Civil Maritime & Env. Eng & Sci Unit
ePrint ID: 185725
Date :
Date Event
1 March 2011Published
Date Deposited: 11 May 2011 07:36
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2017 02:15
Further Information:Google Scholar

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