Track stiffness transition zone studied with three-dimensional sandwich track model

Hai Huang, Braun Brennecke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

When railroad tracks pass from an earthen subgrade to a bridge, the tracks become uneven. In fact, even if the tracks are level at the time of construction, over time a dip develops. This phenomenon occurs just in front of the bridge and is a cause of greater maintenance and poor ride quality. The track before bridges typically needs to be resurfaced more frequently; this maintenance increases the cost for a railroad owner. The cause for this dip in the track is believed to be the sudden change in stiffness between the subgrade and the bridge. The most commonly used approach to neutralize this sudden stiffness change is called the stiffness transition zone method. The idea is to spread out the stiffness jump from a few centimeters to the length of about 30 m by gradually changing the stiffness of the track. However, the details of the stiffness transition zone - for instance, the length, the pattern of the stiffness change, and the effect of train speed - have yet to be studied. A dynamic track model called the three-dimensional sandwich model was developed to study and compare different stiffness transition scenarios properly. In general, results showed that the transition zone decreased the tie-ballast contact force. An increase in speed will increase the tie-ballast contact force both with and without the transition zone. A longer exponentially increasing stiffness transition zone was proved to be better in terms of decreasing the tie-ballast contact force than was the linearly increased transition zone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-142
Number of pages7
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number2374
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013

Fingerprint

Railroad tracks
Stiffness
Railroads

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

Cite this

@article{9f43ba403c7e4116bcc2b2e857b7d2fa,
title = "Track stiffness transition zone studied with three-dimensional sandwich track model",
abstract = "When railroad tracks pass from an earthen subgrade to a bridge, the tracks become uneven. In fact, even if the tracks are level at the time of construction, over time a dip develops. This phenomenon occurs just in front of the bridge and is a cause of greater maintenance and poor ride quality. The track before bridges typically needs to be resurfaced more frequently; this maintenance increases the cost for a railroad owner. The cause for this dip in the track is believed to be the sudden change in stiffness between the subgrade and the bridge. The most commonly used approach to neutralize this sudden stiffness change is called the stiffness transition zone method. The idea is to spread out the stiffness jump from a few centimeters to the length of about 30 m by gradually changing the stiffness of the track. However, the details of the stiffness transition zone - for instance, the length, the pattern of the stiffness change, and the effect of train speed - have yet to be studied. A dynamic track model called the three-dimensional sandwich model was developed to study and compare different stiffness transition scenarios properly. In general, results showed that the transition zone decreased the tie-ballast contact force. An increase in speed will increase the tie-ballast contact force both with and without the transition zone. A longer exponentially increasing stiffness transition zone was proved to be better in terms of decreasing the tie-ballast contact force than was the linearly increased transition zone.",
author = "Hai Huang and Braun Brennecke",
year = "2013",
month = "12",
day = "1",
doi = "10.3141/2374-16",
language = "English (US)",
pages = "136--142",
journal = "Transportation Research Record",
issn = "0361-1981",
publisher = "US National Research Council",
number = "2374",

}

Track stiffness transition zone studied with three-dimensional sandwich track model. / Huang, Hai; Brennecke, Braun.

In: Transportation Research Record, No. 2374, 01.12.2013, p. 136-142.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Track stiffness transition zone studied with three-dimensional sandwich track model

AU - Huang, Hai

AU - Brennecke, Braun

PY - 2013/12/1

Y1 - 2013/12/1

N2 - When railroad tracks pass from an earthen subgrade to a bridge, the tracks become uneven. In fact, even if the tracks are level at the time of construction, over time a dip develops. This phenomenon occurs just in front of the bridge and is a cause of greater maintenance and poor ride quality. The track before bridges typically needs to be resurfaced more frequently; this maintenance increases the cost for a railroad owner. The cause for this dip in the track is believed to be the sudden change in stiffness between the subgrade and the bridge. The most commonly used approach to neutralize this sudden stiffness change is called the stiffness transition zone method. The idea is to spread out the stiffness jump from a few centimeters to the length of about 30 m by gradually changing the stiffness of the track. However, the details of the stiffness transition zone - for instance, the length, the pattern of the stiffness change, and the effect of train speed - have yet to be studied. A dynamic track model called the three-dimensional sandwich model was developed to study and compare different stiffness transition scenarios properly. In general, results showed that the transition zone decreased the tie-ballast contact force. An increase in speed will increase the tie-ballast contact force both with and without the transition zone. A longer exponentially increasing stiffness transition zone was proved to be better in terms of decreasing the tie-ballast contact force than was the linearly increased transition zone.

AB - When railroad tracks pass from an earthen subgrade to a bridge, the tracks become uneven. In fact, even if the tracks are level at the time of construction, over time a dip develops. This phenomenon occurs just in front of the bridge and is a cause of greater maintenance and poor ride quality. The track before bridges typically needs to be resurfaced more frequently; this maintenance increases the cost for a railroad owner. The cause for this dip in the track is believed to be the sudden change in stiffness between the subgrade and the bridge. The most commonly used approach to neutralize this sudden stiffness change is called the stiffness transition zone method. The idea is to spread out the stiffness jump from a few centimeters to the length of about 30 m by gradually changing the stiffness of the track. However, the details of the stiffness transition zone - for instance, the length, the pattern of the stiffness change, and the effect of train speed - have yet to be studied. A dynamic track model called the three-dimensional sandwich model was developed to study and compare different stiffness transition scenarios properly. In general, results showed that the transition zone decreased the tie-ballast contact force. An increase in speed will increase the tie-ballast contact force both with and without the transition zone. A longer exponentially increasing stiffness transition zone was proved to be better in terms of decreasing the tie-ballast contact force than was the linearly increased transition zone.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84891616209&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84891616209&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.3141/2374-16

DO - 10.3141/2374-16

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84891616209

SP - 136

EP - 142

JO - Transportation Research Record

JF - Transportation Research Record

SN - 0361-1981

IS - 2374

ER -