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Sleeper end resistance of ballasted railway tracks

Le Pen, L., Bhandari, A.R. and Powrie, W. (2014) Sleeper end resistance of ballasted railway tracks Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, 140, (5) (doi:10.1061/(ASCE)GT.1943-5606.0001088).

Record type: Article


This paper describes model tests used to investigate how ballast shoulder width and height contribute to a railway sleeper’s resistance to lateral movement for a range of shoulder widths and heights. Deflection and resistance were measured and photographs taken during the tests.The photographs were analyzed using a digital image correlation technique to identify the zones of ballast surface disturbance, which demonstrated that a bulbed failure volume was mobilized at the ultimate limit state. An idealized three-dimensional failure mechanism is proposed, and resistances are calculated using the limit equilibrium approach. The calculation provides a reliable estimate of the measured resistance. The work identifies the optimum shoulder width and height. The calculations are extended to demonstrate that when a number of sleepers are moved simultaneously, the sleeper end resistance may be one-third less per sleeper than that indicated in tests on an isolated sleeper. Image analysis and limit equilibrium calculations show that this is caused by overlapping of mobilized failure volumes from adjacent sleepers.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 13 January 2014
Published date: May 2014
Keywords: ballast, sleeper, shoulder, lateral resistance, model tests, image analysis, limit equilibrium, railroad, stability, digital image correlation
Organisations: Infrastructure Group


Local EPrints ID: 363793
ISSN: 1090-0241
PURE UUID: 128d2de7-b992-42c2-965c-c76f2bafa767
ORCID for L. Le Pen: ORCID iD
ORCID for W. Powrie: ORCID iD

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Date deposited: 04 Apr 2014 09:16
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 02:35

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Author: L. Le Pen ORCID iD
Author: A.R. Bhandari
Author: W. Powrie ORCID iD

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