Mitigating Ballast Fouling and Enhancing Rail Freight Capacity

In this report, an application using polyurethane void filling and particle bonding technology for stabilizing ballast is evaluated. Application of rigid-polyurethane foam (RPF) as an in situ stabilization method does not require premixing with aggregates, soil, or with water, would not require track shutdown, and reaches 90% full strength in 15 minutes after application. Polyurethane-stabilized ballast (PSB) is found to have suitable mechanical properties for use as a material in track-substructure. Ease of injection and negligible curing period for PSB makes it an attractive option for railway maintenance, especially for time-sensitive maintenance activities, such as intersections and bridge approaches. Use of PSB stemming from the research presented in this report can serve as an economically feasible/favorable maintenance approach compared with traditional methods, such as undercutting, track raising and ballast addition, tamping, etc.; especially for preserving uninterrupted track operations during track stabilization/enhancement.

  • Record URL:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the Department of Transportation, University Transportation Centers Program.
  • Corporate Authors:

    National Center for Freight and Infrastructure Research and Education (CFIRE)

    University of Wisconsin, Madison
    1415 Engineering Drive, 2205 Engineering Hall
    Madison, WI  United States  53706

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Keene, Andrew
    • Edil, Tuncer B
    • Tinjum, James M
  • Publication Date: 2012-11


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 254p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01488699
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: CFIRE 04-07
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT06-G-0020
  • Created Date: Jul 29 2013 3:28PM