Recent theoretical research on ground vibrations from high-speed trains has predicted that a specially large increase in ground vibrations from them occurs if train speeds exceed the velocity of Rayleigh surface waves in the ground; this is similar to the sonic boom generated by aircraft flying above the velocity of sound in air. At a location in Sweden with low Rayleigh wave velocity, a rise in train speed from 140 to 180kph led to an increase in generated ground vibrations by about ten times. This paper describes the effects of soft soil on vibrations generated by high-speed trains, especially in the trans-Rayleigh regime, and compares the resulting theoretical predictions with recent measurements of a railway-generated ground vibration boom on the West Coast Main Line in Sweden. The most common and important mechanism of train generation of ground vibration is a quasi-static pressure of wheel axles on track, which also causes a ground vibration boom. The mathematical theory of this is derived by treating a track as a uniform Euler-Bernoulli beam lying on a visco-elastic half space. The required numerical predictions are calculated by solving the resulting equation. Builders and operators of high-speed railways need to be aware of the ground vibration boom phenomenon. For the covering abstract, see IRRD E100715.


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: p. 203-10

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00764417
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • ISBN: 1-901656-09-8
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: May 28 1999 12:00AM