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International Journal of Railway Technology
IJRT, Volume 7, Issue 3, 2018
Integrated Approach to the Design of Ballasted Track Substructure using Advanced Computing Techniques
H.-M. Chen, C. Ulianov and R.E. Shaltout
NewRail Centre for Railway Research, Newcastle University, United Kingdom
H.-M. Chen, C. Ulianov, R.E. Shaltout, "Integrated Approach to the Design of Ballasted Track Substructure using Advanced Computing Techniques", International Journal of Railway Technology, 7(3), 21-43, 2018. doi:10.4203/ijrt.7.3.2
Keywords: track substructure, track design, track stiffness, numerical modelling, finite element, optimisation techniques.
This paper presents an integrated approach to the design of novel track solutions, particularly from the geotechnical perspective, by employing advanced computing techniques capable of establishing design specifications and to optimise the railway track design for light, conventional and heavy freight tracks. The approach uses suitable computing tools for defining and analysing the substructure models and their interfaces, which can then be coupled with the railway superstructure model to analyse the whole vehicle-track interaction and dynamic response. Numerical modelling of the different track design models has been conducted, with comprehensive design considerations and novel reinforcement approaches. The geotechnical material nonlinearity was applied by using the Mohr-Coulomb criteria implemented in finite element analyses. The numerical results show considerable variation of key parameters such as the axle load, and the ballast and sub-ballast layer thicknesses largely affecting the track behaviour. An example case study is further summarised. A comparison has been made between different design solutions for the track substructure. Reasons for the variations in the pressure and displacement distribution patterns have been analysed and discussed, and the selection of the final suitable design for specific subgrade conditions is presented together with appropriate justification.
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