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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 110
Edited by: J. Pombo
Paper 227

Geotechnical Aspects of the Rehabilitation of a Freight Railway Line in Africa

E. Fortunato1, S. Fontul1, A. Paixão1, N. Cruz2, J. Cruz2 and F. Asseiceiro3

1Transportation Department, National Laboratory for Civil Engineering, Lisbon, Portugal
2Direção de Fundações e Geotecnia, Mota-Engil Engenharia e Construção, Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal
3Ferrovias, Mota-Engil Engenharia e Construção, Linda-a-Velha, Portugal

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
E. Fortunato, S. Fontul, A. Paixão, N. Cruz, J. Cruz, F. Asseiceiro, "Geotechnical Aspects of the Rehabilitation of a Freight Railway Line in Africa", in J. Pombo, (Editor), "Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Railway Technology: Research, Development and Maintenance", Civil-Comp Press, Stirlingshire, UK, Paper 227, 2016. doi:10.4203/ccp.110.227
Keywords: freight railway lines, rehabilitation of old lines, sustainable transportation, geotechnical characterisation, experimental field works, non-destructive testing, ground penetrating radar, numerical modelling.

After railway transportation suffered a sharp decline, lately the rehabilitation of old railway lines has been implemented in many countries. Several of these cases concern lines that are expected to be used for freight transport. Whenever possible, during rehabilitation of railway tracks there are technical, economic and environmental advantages in reusing existing materials, particularly the fouled ballast layer (ballast contaminated by fines), to support new reinforcement layers.

This paper presents results of studies with the aim of rehabilitating a railway freight corridor, located in Africa. The visual inspection performed throughout the line, the analysis of the characteristics of the existing superstructure and the substructure survey made it possible to identify the thickness of the layers, soils characteristics and to evaluate the stiffness of the track bed.

An experimental study was carried out in a deactivated rail stretch in order to assess the feasibility of different track structural configurations. In this study costs and construction processes were considered. Results of ground penetrating radar surveys, plate load tests and falling weight deflectometer tests performed on the experimental site are also presented in this paper.

A numerical modelling analysis of the different structural configurations that were tested in the experimental site is also presented. Stress and deformation results are analysed and compared.

The results obtained in the studies showed that it is possible to carry out efficiently structural reinforcement of the platform, taking into account economic and technical issues.

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