Modeling of Rail Track Substructure Linear Elastic Coupling

Most analyses of rail dynamics neglect contribution of the soil, or treat it in a very simple manner such as using spring elements. This can cause accuracy issues in examining dynamics for passenger comfort, derailment, substructure analysis, or other reasons. The authors examine how the treatment of the soil in a continuum fashion influences rail simulations. The authors use the finite element method to build a continuum model of the track structure and soil, including rails, fasteners, crossties (sleepers), ballast, subballast, and subgrade. The authors export the modal stiffness of the track structure to a multibody code to simulate the wheel/rail contact of a train over the track. From the modal displacements, the nodal displacements can be reconstructed in the finite element model. Contact forces and other quantities of interest can be determined.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This document was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, University Transportation Centers Program. This report consists of two distinct documents: "Modeling of Rail Track Substructure Linear Elastic Coupling" and "Modeling of Rail Track Substructure Soil Plasticity Modeling."
  • Corporate Authors:

    National University Rail Center (NURail)

    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 205 N. Mathews Avenue
    Urbana, IL  United States  61801

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Foster, Craig
    • El-Ghandour, Ahmed
    • Hamper, Martin B
  • Publication Date: 2015-9-30


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 24p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01599263
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: NURail2012-UIC-R01-A
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT12-G-UTC18
  • Created Date: Apr 27 2016 9:32AM