The load bearing capability of track depends on the combined characteristics of foundation, superstructure and loads to be carried. Evidence is that loads imposed by 100-ton cars exceed the load-bearing capacity of much of the track over which they operate. Track deterioration under heavy loads appears in the form of loss of surface and line; in conversion of subgrade and ballast sections into plastic masses that pump mud and water, in wide gauge, plate cutting, tie splitting and spike-killed ties; in rapid wear, battered rail ends and in formation of corrugated and shelly rail. After discussing facets of track design and track deflection, the problems of ballast and subgrade are examined and the effects of wheel loads are detailed. Ten recommendations for combatting effects of high wheel loads and two other lines of action for limiting or accounting in advance for track deterioration are suggested.

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References;
  • Pagination: p. 27-36

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00132961
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Federal Railroad Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FRA OR&D 76-243
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jun 5 1976 12:00AM