A series of large-scale direct shear test were conducted to study the interface shear strength of subballast reinforced with different types of geomembranes and geogrids. The impact of normal stress (σn), shearing rate (SR), relative density (DR) and open area (OA%) on the behaviour of granular material was investigated in unreinforced and reinforced condition. The results revealed that the performance of material was markedly influenced by σn and OA. The results also showed that geogrids provided a greater value of passive resistance owing to have transverse ribs, but the mobilised passive resistance became smaller with increase in OA. The triaxial grids offered more passive resistance than biaxial geogrid.