Title

INFLUENCE OF TRACK MAINTENANCE ON LATERAL RESISTANCE OF CONCRETE-TIE TRACK

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2003

Subject Area

infrastructure - track, mode - rail

Keywords

Tracks, Track stability, Track rehabilitation, Track maintenance, Thermal compression, Surfacing, Railroad tracks, Rail maintenance, Mechanical stabilization, Maintenance of way, Lateral resistance, High temperature, Concrete ties, Buckling, Alinement, Alignment

Abstract

Adequate lateral resistance is required to provide the stable track structure necessary for safe rail operations on passenger and freight railroad track. Insufficient lateral resistance, coupled with a large thermal compression force in the rail from high rail temperature, can buckle the track structure. Railroads typically use mechanical stabilization, slow orders, or both, following maintenance operations that disturb the ballast section, such as track surfacing and alignment. Tests were conducted to improve the understanding of lateral resistance variations on concrete-tie track caused by surfacing and subsequent stabilization or compaction. Factors influencing track stability are summarized, maintenance procedures are described, the single-tie push test is described, and test results are presented. Tests were conducted to evaluate the changes in lateral resistance, from the trafficked, well-consolidated track structure before surfacing and alignment through the laterally weak track structure after surfacing. The influence of stabilization on the lateral resistance of the track structure was evaluated. The tests results indicate that surfacing significantly reduces the lateral stability of the track to a potentially critical level. Mechanical stabilization following surfacing significantly increased the lateral stability of all sections tested.