Effect of improper ballast packing/ tamping on dynamic behaviors of on-track railway concrete sleeper
Ballasted railway tracks are impaired due to either normal or abnormal operations. One of the problems is the differential settlements along the track. Clearly, there is the need to maintain periodically the track substructures by means of ballast packing/tamping. Inappropriate conducts result in the nonlinear distributions of support stiffness. This study firstly demonstrates the effects of improper ballast packing/tamping on the free vibration behaviors of in situ railway concrete sleepers. The two-dimensional finite element modeling of an in situ concrete sleeper was employed in the parametric studies. This model takes into account the coupled flexural-and-shear deformations of concrete sleepers, elastic displacements of fastening system, and nonlinear dynamic interaction between the sleeper and ballast support. Dynamic interaction between sleepers and ballast was investigated based on the nonlinear distribution of ballast support stiffness underneath the sleeper. Effects of both symmetrical and asymmetrical stiffness distributions on dynamic behaviors of the local in situ concrete sleeper were also highlighted.