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A model for stochastic prediction of track support stiffness

A model for stochastic prediction of track support stiffness
A model for stochastic prediction of track support stiffness
As well as guiding the train, one of the key aims of a railway track system is to provide support to the train at the wheel-rail interface that is of near-uniform compliance. Of the various components that make up this compliance, the contribution of the trackbed (ballast and subgrade) is the most difficult to understand and control. This paper presents data from field measurements of track support system stiffness for a continuous run of 209 sleepers on a high speed ballasted railway. The data indicate a level of variability, even on a highly engineered and well-maintained route. Statistical analysis of the data is used to demonstrate the dependence of the trackbed modulus at an individual sleeper on the modulus of the sleeper immediately preceding it, and that in statistical terms the effect of sleepers further away is due to correlation between the intermediate sleepers. An optimum trackbed stiffness, close to the overall mean, at which the standard deviation is a minimum is demonstrated for a particular site. As the trackbed stiffness moves away from this optimum value, the likely variation from sleeper to sleeper increases. A framework for implementing a stochastic approach to predicting the variation in track support stiffness from one sleeper to another, based on a Markov model and appropriate probability distribution functions, is then proposed. This framework may be used for the quantitative comparison of different sites, and to simulating plausible values of track stiffness in vehicle-track interaction analysis.
rail, stiffness, probability, stochastic, tracbed, accelerometers, MEMs, ballast, sleeper
0954-4097
Le Pen, Louis
4a38e256-d113-4bba-b0d4-32d41995928a
Milne, David
6b321a45-c19a-4243-b562-517a69e5affc
Watson, Geoff
a7b86a0a-9a2c-44d2-99ed-a6c02b2a356d
Harkness, John
026f02e8-41d9-403f-83be-0d880058ecf1
Powrie, William
600c3f02-00f8-4486-ae4b-b4fc8ec77c3c
Le Pen, Louis
4a38e256-d113-4bba-b0d4-32d41995928a
Milne, David
6b321a45-c19a-4243-b562-517a69e5affc
Watson, Geoff
a7b86a0a-9a2c-44d2-99ed-a6c02b2a356d
Harkness, John
026f02e8-41d9-403f-83be-0d880058ecf1
Powrie, William
600c3f02-00f8-4486-ae4b-b4fc8ec77c3c

Le Pen, Louis, Milne, David, Watson, Geoff, Harkness, John and Powrie, William (2019) A model for stochastic prediction of track support stiffness. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part F: Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit. (doi:10.1177/0954409719841800).

Record type: Article

Abstract

As well as guiding the train, one of the key aims of a railway track system is to provide support to the train at the wheel-rail interface that is of near-uniform compliance. Of the various components that make up this compliance, the contribution of the trackbed (ballast and subgrade) is the most difficult to understand and control. This paper presents data from field measurements of track support system stiffness for a continuous run of 209 sleepers on a high speed ballasted railway. The data indicate a level of variability, even on a highly engineered and well-maintained route. Statistical analysis of the data is used to demonstrate the dependence of the trackbed modulus at an individual sleeper on the modulus of the sleeper immediately preceding it, and that in statistical terms the effect of sleepers further away is due to correlation between the intermediate sleepers. An optimum trackbed stiffness, close to the overall mean, at which the standard deviation is a minimum is demonstrated for a particular site. As the trackbed stiffness moves away from this optimum value, the likely variation from sleeper to sleeper increases. A framework for implementing a stochastic approach to predicting the variation in track support stiffness from one sleeper to another, based on a Markov model and appropriate probability distribution functions, is then proposed. This framework may be used for the quantitative comparison of different sites, and to simulating plausible values of track stiffness in vehicle-track interaction analysis.

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lepen_et_al_accepted - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 10 March 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 9 April 2019
Keywords: rail, stiffness, probability, stochastic, tracbed, accelerometers, MEMs, ballast, sleeper

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 429736
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/429736
ISSN: 0954-4097
PURE UUID: ac2f8904-7b90-4ea9-9230-85417f0e8347
ORCID for Louis Le Pen: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4362-3895
ORCID for David Milne: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-6702-3918
ORCID for Geoff Watson: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3074-5196
ORCID for John Harkness: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-7598-0080
ORCID for William Powrie: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2271-0826

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 04 Apr 2019 16:30
Last modified: 01 May 2019 00:37

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Contributors

Author: Louis Le Pen ORCID iD
Author: David Milne ORCID iD
Author: Geoff Watson ORCID iD
Author: John Harkness ORCID iD
Author: William Powrie ORCID iD

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