Field Investigation and Modeling of Track Substructure Performance Under Trains Moving at Critical Speed

The purpose of this research performed by Pennsylvania State University between September 2012 and September 2015 was to formulate and validate a 3D dynamic track-subgrade interaction model, to conduct field measurements of subgrade conditions and track responses to train passes at a variety speeds, and to use the model to predict the track performance when trains run at critical speed. When a train approaches critical speed, vibrations propagate within the track structure and subgrade at a speed close to the Rayleigh wave velocity of the subgrade soil. Ground vibrations combine in-phase, resulting in significantly increased vibrations in the track system, adjacent soil deposits, and adjacent structures. Field sites with soft subgrade properties were selected to validate the model. Based on the study’s results, the 3D dynamic track-subgrade interaction model is an effective way to predict the track performance and critical speed condition of the track.

  • Record URL:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Pennsylvania State University, University Park

    University Park, PA  United States  16802-4710

    Federal Railroad Administration

    Office of Railroad Policy and Development, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    Federal Railroad Administration

    Office of Research, Development, and Technology
    Washington, DC  United States 
  • Authors:
    • Judge, Aaron
    • Ho, Carlton
    • Huang, Hai
    • Hyslip, James
    • Gao, Yin
  • Publication Date: 2018-7


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report; Technical Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Maps; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 97p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01675686
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: DOT/FRA/ORD-18/21
  • Contract Numbers: DTFR53-12-C-00029
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jul 17 2018 10:01AM