Innovative Approach in the Use of Geotextiles for Failures Prevention in Railway Embankments

Maintenance and renewal costs of a typical railway, track and substructure represents 50–60% of the total costs of such infrastructure over its entire service life. Innovations in track and substructure are therefore fundamental to achieve a significant impact on the overall cost reduction for the railways. Therefore new solutions for track improvements that are effective and that can minimize the interruption of traffic are needed. Moreover, failures of railway embankments happened recently in different regions of the world. Such events, such as the one happened in the United Kingdom (UK) in February 2013 (, are showing the importance of monitoring track and infrastructure coupled with the use of numerical models for the localization of the critical areas and the design of appropriate countermeasures. Indeed embankment failures, landslides and uneven settlements and similar events are becoming much more common than in the past due to climate changes, and this requires the infrastructure managers to look from a different perspective infrastructure maintenance issues. What was previously consider as “extreme” is now “common” and thus actions need to be taken to be ready when such events will happen. The aim is to mitigate their effects on the infrastructure and to minimize disruptions to train services and reduce maintenance costs to restore the normal service conditions. If this mental change happens, then the need for solutions and techniques for global asset monitoring and ground stabilization will probably increase. Among the others, geotextiles and geogrids for soil reinforcement used in combination with condition monitoring techniques have the potential for minimizing catastrophic events, whilst at the same time providing a good balance among costs and benefits (i.e. sustainability). The paper describe a case study where the use of multifunctional geotextiles, able to provide both strengthening and monitoring functions, has been tested along a railroad near the city of Chemnitz (Germany). The results are here reported to show the potential use and the innovative aspect of this solution.


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  • Accession Number: 01606111
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 29 2016 8:30AM