A large-scale apparatus was designed and built at the University of Wollongong to evaluate the pull-out strength of rail subballast reinforced with geocells. A series of tests were carried out to investigate the pull-out resistance, mobilised tensile strength (ttensile) and passive strength (tpassive) of a subballastgeocell assembly under a given range of overburden pressure (1 kPa < q < 45 kPa). The interface was held in a vertical alignment to better simulate the interaction between subballast and geocell in accordance with routine track practices. The test results show that the geocell reinforcement provides a considerable degree of passive resistance, where the opening area (OA) and lateral pressure (sn) over the geocell strip are found to be influential factors. A three-dimensional finite element simulation was also conducted. The numerical results show that the tensile strength mobilised in the geocell will increase as the geocell stiffness increases, but causes a reduction in tpassive. A parametric study was also developed to investigate the impact of geocell stiffness and friction coefficient on the passive resistance and mobilised tensile strength. These results indicate that the passive resistance and mobilised tensile strength increase with the increase in overburden pressure (q) and friction coefficient (d).