Publication Details

Indraratna, B., Ngo, N. & Rujikiatkamjorn, C. (2018). Advancement in track technology - composite foundations for increased speed and axle loads. Conference on Railway Excellence (pp. 442-451). United States: Informit.


The increasing demand for fast heavy haul services with greater axle loads, as well as high speed commuter trains, poses a serious challenge for the stability of tracks on the problematic ground. The use of artificial inclusions such as polymeric geosynthetics for enhanced soil-structure interaction and rubber mats made from recycled rubber tyres to absorb the strain energy and reduce ballast breakage and track damage is described in this paper as a cost-effective option. In this study, a series of large-scale laboratory tests took place to determine how well these geogrids could attenuate the impact, cyclic stress, and corresponding mitigation of ballast degradation. Comprehensive field trials took place on two full-scale rail tracks in the towns of Bulli and Singleton in New South Wales. These trials facilitated the evaluation of different types of geogrids, geocomposites and rubber mats installed in fully instrumented track sections, as well as the possible reuse of spent ballast. This paper focuses mainly on research projects at the University of Wollongong to enhance track performance by highlighting some examples of innovation from theory to practice; including case studies.