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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 86
Edited by: B.H.V. Topping
Paper 54

Assessment of High-Speed Slab Track Design

V.L. Markine1 and C. Esveld2

1Faculty of Civil Engineering, Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands
2Esveld Consulting Services, Zaltbommel, the Netherlands

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
V.L. Markine, C. Esveld, "Assessment of High-Speed Slab Track Design", in B.H.V. Topping, (Editor), "Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering Computing", Civil-Comp Press, Stirlingshire, UK, Paper 54, 2007. doi:10.4203/ccp.86.54
Keywords: high-speed track, railway track dynamics, slab track design.

The paper presents a methodology for assessment of high speed slab track design. Presently all over the world non-ballasted track concepts are being applied [1]. If the low maintenance characteristics of slab track on an open line are to be retained, great care must be taken to ensure that the subgrade layers are homogenous and capable of bearing the loads imposed. The slabs can be precast or poured on site. The best known tracks with precast slabs are the Shinkansen line in Japan and the Max Bögl slab track designed in Germany, while as examples of the tracks with on site poured slabs Rheda 2000 (Germany) and various designs of an embedded rail structure can be mentioned.

If no bending resistance is required both precast and on site poured slab track designs can be applied. Problems arise when such structure is built on soils where some settlement may be expected. In this case there are mainly three ways of applying a slab track:

  • Using a slab with reinforcement at the neutral line;
  • Using a slab with reinforcement at the top and at the bottom of the slab [2];
  • Using bridge or bridge like structures as a substructure in slab track design.
Examples these structures as well as their advantages and disadvantages are discussed in the paper.

Analysis of the static and dynamic behaviour of a slab track under various loadings is a part of a design process. Both short-term and long-term behaviour of a track structure should be analysed. The Railway Engineering Group at Delft University of Technology (TUD) has developed an approach for the assessment of slab track design for high speed lines. The approach is based on dynamic analysis of a slab track and a number of performance factors calculated on the basis of the results of the dynamic simulations. The main parts of the assessment procedure are described in the paper.

Using the above mentioned indicators performance of the following slab track structures has been assessed:

  • Settlement Free Plate (SFP) as used for HSL-Zuid (the Netherlands);
  • Feste Fahrbahn Bögl (Gemany);
  • Neue Feste Fahrbahn (NFF) designed by the ThyssenKrupp Gft Gleistechnik GmbH. Results of these track structures assessment are presented in the paper.
Finally, some ideas on the best practice in high-speed track design are given.

Esveld C. "Recent developments in slab track", European Railway Review, Issue 2, 2003.
Markine V.L., Zwarthoed J.M., Esveld C., "Use of Numerical Optimisation in Railway Slab Track Design", In Querin O.M. (Ed.) "Engineering Design Optimization Product and Process Improvement", Proceedings of the 3rd ASMO UK / ISSMO conference, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK, 9th -10th July 2001.

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