A Comparison of Ground Vibration Due to Ballasted and Slab Tracks

With the development of non-ballasted track forms (often referred to as slab tracks) over the few last decades, it is important to understand their behavior with respect to ground-borne vibration compared with the traditional ballasted tracks. This is important in deciding between the use of the two track forms. The present work aims to quantify the differences between slab tracks and ballasted tracks numerically by using the MOTIV model. This is a general and fully coupled three-dimensional model that works in the wavenumber-frequency domain. It can predict the vibration levels of the track and the ground due to the gravitational loading of a passing train and the wheel and rail unevenness. A comparative analysis between the two track types is presented in terms of ground vibration with emphasis given to the influence of the stiffness and inertial parameters of the two track forms. It is shown that, for the same fastener stiffness there are only small differences in ground vibration behavior, with the mass of the track slab leading to reductions of 1-3 dB at frequencies above 16 Hz. However, if softer rail fasteners are used in the slab track, as is usual, this leads to further reductions above 63 Hz. The critical velocity on soft soil is also considered. Although there is little difference between the different tracks for a homogeneous ground, for grounds with a soft surface layer the critical velocity is increased by the slab bending stiffness. The maximum rail displacement is also smaller for a slab track than the equivalent ballasted track.


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  • Accession Number: 01714319
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 22 2019 3:04PM