A critical review of rail track geotechnologies considering increased speeds and axle loads
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Ballasted railroads are designed to provide high speed commuter and heavy haul transportation. Ballast is one of most important load bearing components of the track substructure. However, it often experiences excessive settlement, lateral deformation and particle breakage when subjected to large dynamic (cyclic and impact) stresses. In addition, tracks constructed along coastal areas often undergo large settlements over soft compressible estuarine deposits, leading to frequent and costly track maintenance. The use of artificial inclusions such as geogrids, geocomposites, shock-mats (rubber) and prefabricated vertical drains (PVDs) are attractive options to maintain the vertical and horizontal alignment of tracks and to curtail excessive maintenance costs. This critical review paper provides a deeper insight to the recent advancements in rail track geotechnology at increased train speeds and axle loads.
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