Track stiffness: a tool for maintenance?

The European research project EUROBALT (EUropean Research to Optimise BALlasted Track) considered track stiffness (track deflection under a moving load) and showed the importance of this parameter in determining the track condition, both through theoretical models and measurements. Moreover, it can be asserted that track stiffness introduces a new dimension to monitoring track quality beyond the indexes used daily by track engineers. In other words, different locations with the same track quality could present different track stiffnesses but need not necessarily be maintained in the same way. Track stiffness in itself has several components: it must be considered static and dynamically, according to preload, static load and dynamical load. Understanding these relationships is leading to improved knowledge of the principles of track behaviour. During the research, various devices were used to measure the stiffness on different European tracks. The Track Loading Vehicle from Banverket was used in Germany, Sweden and France; a Falling Weight Deflectometer was employed in England, Germany and France and various systems using double integration of rail acceleration under service trains on the 4 railways of the partners in EUROBALT 2. It has been demonstrated that ballasted track may still be improved to reduce maintenance costs and construction costs for both High Speed Lines and for classical ones. Therefore, measuring track stiffness ensures more preventive and less curative track maintenance. For the covering abstract see ITRD E125214.

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  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01011740
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • ISBN: 0-947644-43-1
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Dec 19 2005 3:28PM