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Modelling the effects of trafficking and tamping on scaled railway ballast in triaxial tests

Modelling the effects of trafficking and tamping on scaled railway ballast in triaxial tests
Modelling the effects of trafficking and tamping on scaled railway ballast in triaxial tests
Most of the world’s railways are on ballasted track, which is generally used in preference to slab track because of its lower initial cost and the relative ease with which track geometry can be adjusted. However, the accumulation of track movements as a result of trafficking leads to a gradual deterioration in track line and level, hence the need for periodic corrective maintenance. This is usually by tamping; a process in which the track is lifted and vibrating tines are inserted into the ballast and moved horizontally to raise the ballast surface back to the required level. The period before further maintenance is required decreases with each tamp. This paper investigates one of the reasons for the deterioration in ballast robustness following tamping, with reference to triaxial tests on scaled ballast in which vertical loading cycles and the stress reversal caused below the railseat by tamping were simulated. It is shown that the stress reversal disrupts and loosens the vertical load bearing ballast structure developed during trafficking to support vertical train loads. On re-loading after tamping, the track settles significantly and, as a result of the loss of vertical load-bearing structure, with further load cycles rapidly returns to its reduced height. The implication is that maintenance by tamping is, on its own, disruptive to the structure and resilience of the ballast to vertical cyclic loading, and should be carried out as rarely as possible.
Railway, transportation, maintenance, tamping, ballast, railroad, triaxial test
2214-3912
84-90
Aingaran, Sinthuja
d1090eef-e035-43fb-8762-f0a600706911
Le Pen, Louis
4a38e256-d113-4bba-b0d4-32d41995928a
Zervos, Antonios
9e60164e-af2c-4776-af7d-dfc9a454c46e
Powrie, William
600c3f02-00f8-4486-ae4b-b4fc8ec77c3c
Aingaran, Sinthuja
d1090eef-e035-43fb-8762-f0a600706911
Le Pen, Louis
4a38e256-d113-4bba-b0d4-32d41995928a
Zervos, Antonios
9e60164e-af2c-4776-af7d-dfc9a454c46e
Powrie, William
600c3f02-00f8-4486-ae4b-b4fc8ec77c3c

Aingaran, Sinthuja, Le Pen, Louis, Zervos, Antonios and Powrie, William (2018) Modelling the effects of trafficking and tamping on scaled railway ballast in triaxial tests. Transportation Geotechnics, 15, 84-90. (doi:10.1016/j.trgeo.2018.04.004).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Most of the world’s railways are on ballasted track, which is generally used in preference to slab track because of its lower initial cost and the relative ease with which track geometry can be adjusted. However, the accumulation of track movements as a result of trafficking leads to a gradual deterioration in track line and level, hence the need for periodic corrective maintenance. This is usually by tamping; a process in which the track is lifted and vibrating tines are inserted into the ballast and moved horizontally to raise the ballast surface back to the required level. The period before further maintenance is required decreases with each tamp. This paper investigates one of the reasons for the deterioration in ballast robustness following tamping, with reference to triaxial tests on scaled ballast in which vertical loading cycles and the stress reversal caused below the railseat by tamping were simulated. It is shown that the stress reversal disrupts and loosens the vertical load bearing ballast structure developed during trafficking to support vertical train loads. On re-loading after tamping, the track settles significantly and, as a result of the loss of vertical load-bearing structure, with further load cycles rapidly returns to its reduced height. The implication is that maintenance by tamping is, on its own, disruptive to the structure and resilience of the ballast to vertical cyclic loading, and should be carried out as rarely as possible.

Text
Effects of tamping accepted25april18 - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 25 April 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 26 April 2018
Published date: June 2018
Keywords: Railway, transportation, maintenance, tamping, ballast, railroad, triaxial test

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 420375
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/420375
ISSN: 2214-3912
PURE UUID: 41beb91d-85b2-48df-949c-1e3193bcb191
ORCID for Louis Le Pen: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4362-3895
ORCID for Antonios Zervos: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2662-9320
ORCID for William Powrie: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2271-0826

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 04 May 2018 16:30
Last modified: 17 Dec 2019 05:28

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