A generalized model for geosynthetic reinforced railway tracks resting on soft clays
The present study pertains to the development of a foundation model for predicting the behavior of geosynthetic reinforcement railway track system rested on soft clay subgrade. The ballast and sub-ballast layers have been idealized by Pasternak shear layer. The geosynthetic layer is represented by a stretched rough elastic membrane. Burger model has been used to characterize the soft clay subgrade. Numerical solutions have been obtained by adopting the finite difference scheme combined with non-dimensioning the governing equations of the proposed model. The results confirm that the present model is quite capable of predicting the time-dependent settlement response of geosynthetic reinforcement railway track system placed on soft clay subgrade. The surface settlement profile and mobilized tensile load of geosynthetics has been evaluated by considering variation in the wheel load, sleeper width, thickness of ballast and sub-ballast layers and shear modulus of ballast and sub-ballast layers. It has been observed that an increase in the sleeper width by 24% results in the reduction in central settlement and mobilized tensile load by 6.5% and 20.1%, respectively. It was found that with a 50% increase in the thickness of the ballast layer, the central settlement has decreased by 7.3% and the mobilized tension at the zone of maximum curvature has increased by 24.6%. However, with an increase in the thickness of the sub-ballast layer, a considerable reduction in both central settlement and the mobilization of tension on geosynthetic has been noticed. The pattern of variation of settlement and mobilized tension for an increase in the shear modulus of ballast and sub-ballast material was found to be almost similar.