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Remediation of mud pumping on a ballasted railway track

Remediation of mud pumping on a ballasted railway track
Remediation of mud pumping on a ballasted railway track
Maintenance of ballasted railway tracks is a major cost for railway infrastructure owners. In many developed countries, much of the railway infrastructure is mature and was built for service requirements long since superseded. The increased demands on historic infrastructure can lead to the development or exacerbation of localised trackbed problems that require disproportionate levels of maintenance. Identifying these and applying cost effective remediation has the potential to reduce maintenance spend in the long term. However, it is not always clear what the most cost effective remediation will be. One type of localised maintenance issue is the development of wet beds or wet spots, which can occur where saturated clayey subgrade soils are overloaded and result in the development of mud pumping as trains pass. This leads to the migration of fines into the ballast bed and a deterioration in local track performance. Over time the track overlying the wet bed settles disproportionately more, sleepers become progressively more voided, and train ride quality deteriorates. Maintenance of the wet bed may involve locally digging out and replacing the ballast; however, unless the underlying cause is addressed the problem is likely to recur, requiring repeated localised maintenance interventions. This is costly, reactive and ultimately an ineffective approach to managing the problem. This paper presents a study of a wet bed in the UK, both prior to and after a full track renewal. Transient track deflections during train passage were monitored using sleeper mounted geophones and high speed filming techniques. Loaded track geometry data were obtained from a track recording vehicle. It is shown that local maintenance interventions were generally ineffective, but that a renewal of the top 200 mm of the trackbed including placement of a geotextile filter and geogrid appears to have been successful in remediating the problem, at least in the short term.
1043-1050
Hudson, Andrew
c834356f-d618-49d2-a8cc-cd338e1a87a4
Watson, Geoff
a7b86a0a-9a2c-44d2-99ed-a6c02b2a356d
Le Pen, Louis
4a38e256-d113-4bba-b0d4-32d41995928a
Powrie, William
600c3f02-00f8-4486-ae4b-b4fc8ec77c3c
Hudson, Andrew
c834356f-d618-49d2-a8cc-cd338e1a87a4
Watson, Geoff
a7b86a0a-9a2c-44d2-99ed-a6c02b2a356d
Le Pen, Louis
4a38e256-d113-4bba-b0d4-32d41995928a
Powrie, William
600c3f02-00f8-4486-ae4b-b4fc8ec77c3c

Hudson, Andrew, Watson, Geoff, Le Pen, Louis and Powrie, William (2016) Remediation of mud pumping on a ballasted railway track , Portugal. 04 - 07 Sep 2016. , pp. 1043-1050. (doi:10.1016/j.proeng.2016.06.103).

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)

Abstract

Maintenance of ballasted railway tracks is a major cost for railway infrastructure owners. In many developed countries, much of the railway infrastructure is mature and was built for service requirements long since superseded. The increased demands on historic infrastructure can lead to the development or exacerbation of localised trackbed problems that require disproportionate levels of maintenance. Identifying these and applying cost effective remediation has the potential to reduce maintenance spend in the long term. However, it is not always clear what the most cost effective remediation will be. One type of localised maintenance issue is the development of wet beds or wet spots, which can occur where saturated clayey subgrade soils are overloaded and result in the development of mud pumping as trains pass. This leads to the migration of fines into the ballast bed and a deterioration in local track performance. Over time the track overlying the wet bed settles disproportionately more, sleepers become progressively more voided, and train ride quality deteriorates. Maintenance of the wet bed may involve locally digging out and replacing the ballast; however, unless the underlying cause is addressed the problem is likely to recur, requiring repeated localised maintenance interventions. This is costly, reactive and ultimately an ineffective approach to managing the problem. This paper presents a study of a wet bed in the UK, both prior to and after a full track renewal. Transient track deflections during train passage were monitored using sleeper mounted geophones and high speed filming techniques. Loaded track geometry data were obtained from a track recording vehicle. It is shown that local maintenance interventions were generally ineffective, but that a renewal of the top 200 mm of the trackbed including placement of a geotextile filter and geogrid appears to have been successful in remediating the problem, at least in the short term.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 26 February 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 4 September 2016
Venue - Dates: 3rd International Conference on Transportation Geotechnics (ICTG 2016), Portugal, 2016-09-04 - 2016-09-07
Organisations: Civil Maritime & Env. Eng & Sci Unit

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 402100
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/402100
PURE UUID: 1ccce0a3-9c27-4b53-94f3-1193ab2420bb
ORCID for Geoff Watson: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3074-5196
ORCID for Louis Le Pen: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4362-3895
ORCID for William Powrie: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2271-0826

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 02 Nov 2016 11:49
Last modified: 09 Jan 2018 17:46

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Contributors

Author: Andrew Hudson
Author: Geoff Watson ORCID iD
Author: Louis Le Pen ORCID iD
Author: William Powrie ORCID iD

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