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Research for an Optimized Ballasted Railroad Track

Railway tracks are normally laid on the ground with an interface layer of ballast stones between the track superstructure (the rails and sleepers) and the subground. The ballast will distribute the load from the train onto the subground, and it will anchor the track. Theoretical knowledge of ballasted tracks, in terms of dynamic interactions between trains and subgrade as well as long-term behaviour of the track, still remains very sparse.

The objectives of this European project are mainly to describe operating values for the train/track interaction parameters and to define optimal parameters for the track design and maintenance. Several measurement campaigns are performed.

Our role in this project (called EUROBALT II - European Research for an Optimized Ballasted Track) is to take part in computer program development for simulation of the dynamic train/track interaction. By use of this program, dynamic loading on the ballast can be calculated. This loading then causes the long-term deterioration of the ballast. (Ballast and subgrade deterioration models are developed by other partners in this project.)

In a separate project, funded by the Swedish National Rail Administration, railroad track settlement models are investigated and a simple settlement model is implemented into a computer model for calculation of train/track interaction.

Page responsible: Bo Torstenfelt
Last updated: 2008-02-07