Design and modelling of pre-cast steel-concrete composites for resilient railway track slabs

  • Mirza, Olivia (School of Computing, Engineering & Mathematics, University of Western Sydney) ;
  • Kaewunruen, Sakdirat (Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education, School of Engineering, The University of Birmingham) ;
  • Kwok, Kenny (School of Computing, Engineering & Mathematics, University of Western Sydney) ;
  • Griffin, Dane W.P. (Rondo Consulting Pty Ltd.)
  • 투고 : 2015.10.11
  • 심사 : 2016.10.18
  • 발행 : 2016.10.30


Australian railway networks possess a large amount of aging timber components and need to replace them in excess of 280 thousands $m^3$ per year. The relatively high turnover of timber sleepers (crossties in a plain track), bearers (skeleton ties in a turnout), and transoms (bridge cross beams) is responsible for producing greenhouse gas emissions 6 times greater than an equivalent reinforced concrete counterparts. This paper presents an innovative solution for the replacement of aging timber transoms installed on existing railway bridges along with the incorporation of a continuous walkway platform, which is proven to provide environmental, safety and financial benefits. Recent developments for alternative composite materials to replace timber components in railway infrastructure construction and maintenance demonstrate some compatibility issues with track stiffness as well as structural and geometrical track systems. Structural concrete are generally used for new railway bridges where the comparatively thicker and heavier fixed slab track systems can be accommodated. This study firstly demonstrates a novel and resilient alterative by incorporating steel-concrete composite slab theory and combines the capabilities of being precast and modulated, in order to reduce the depth, weight and required installation time relative to conventional concrete direct-fixation track slab systems. Clear benefits of the new steel-concrete composites are the maintainability and constructability, especially for existing railway bridges (or brown fields). Critical considerations in the design and finite element modelling for performance benchmarking of composite structures and their failure modes are highlighted in this paper, altogether with risks, compatibilities and compliances.


연구 과제번호 : RISEN: Rail Infrastructure Systems Engineering Network

연구 과제 주관 기관 : Railway Technical Research Institute, European Commission


  1. Atmaca, B. and Ates, S. (2012), "Construction stage analysis of three-dimensional cable-stayed bridges", Steel Compos. Struct., Int. J., 12(5), 413-426
  2. Bonnett, C.F. (2005), Practical Railway Engineering, Imperial College Press, Hackensack, NJ, USA.
  3. Bradford, M. and Uy, B. (2007), "Composite action of structural steel beams and precast concrete slabs for the flexural strength limit state", Aust. J. Struct. Eng., 7(2), 123-133.
  4. Choi, J.Y., Park, Y.G., Choi, E.S. and Choi, J.H. (2010), "Applying precast slab panel track to replace timber track in an existing steel plate girder railway bridge", Proc. Inst. Mech. Eng., Part F: J. Rail Rapid Transit, 224(3), 159-167.
  5. Fanaie, N., Ghalamzan Esfahani, F. and Soroushnia, S. (2015), "Analytical study of composite beams with different arrangements of channel shear connectors", Steel Compos. Struct., Int. J., 19(2), 485-501.
  6. Ferdous, W., Manalo, A., Van Erp, G., Aravinthan, T., Kaewunruen, S. and and Remennikov, A.M. (2015), "Composite railway sleepers-Recent developments, challenges and future prospects", Compos. Struct., 134(12), 158-168.
  7. Goh, C.C., Patrick, M., Proe, D. and Wilkie, R. (1998), Design of Composite Slabs for Strength - BHP Design Manual, BHP Integrated Steel.
  8. Griffin, D.W.P., Mirza, O., Kwok, K. and Kaewunruen, S. (2014), "Composites for railway construction and maintenance: A review", The IES Journal Part A: Civil & Struct. Eng., 7(4), 243-262.
  9. Griffin, D.W.P., Mirza, O., Kwok, K. and Kaewunruen, S. (2015), "Finite element modelling of modular precast composites for railway track support structure: A battle to save Sydney Harbour Bridge", Aust. J. Struct. Eng., 16(2), 150-168.
  10. Indraratna, B., Salim, W. and Rujikiatkamjorn, R. (2011), Advanced Rail Geotechnology - Ballasted Track, CRC Press, The Netherlands.
  11. Kaewunruen, S. (2007), "Experimental and numerical studies for evaluating dynamic behaviour of prestressed concrete sleepers subject to severe impact loading", Ph.D. Thesis; School of Civil, Mining, and Environmental Engineering, University of Wollongong, Australia.
  12. Kaewunruen, S. (2013), "Performance review of CarbonLoc material for alternative turnout bearers", Technical Report No. TR211; Track Services RailCorp, Australia, July, 17 p.
  13. Kaewunruen, S. (2014), "Monitoring in-service performance of fibre-reinforced foamed urethane material as timber-replacement sleepers/bearers in railway urban turnout systems", Struct. Monitor. Maint., 1(1), 131-157. [Invited]
  14. Kaewunruen, S. and Remennikov, A.M. (2007), "Field trials for dynamic characteristics of railway track and its components using impact excitation technique", NDT & E. Int., 40(7), 510-519.
  15. Kaewunruen, S. and Remennikov, A.M. (2009a), "Progressive failure of prestressed concrete sleepers under multiple high-intensity impact loads", Eng. Struct., 31(10), 2460-2473.
  16. Kaewunruen, S. and Remennikov, A.M. (2009b), "Structural safety of railway prestressed concrete sleepers", Aust. J. Struct. Eng., 9(2), 129-140. [Invited]
  17. Kaewunruen, S., Remennikov, A.M. and Murray, M.H. (2011), "Greener & Leaner: Unleashing the capacity of railroad concrete ties", ASCE J. Trans. Eng., 137(4), 241-247.
  18. Kaewunruen, S., Remennikov, A.M. and Murray, M.H. (2014), "Introducing limit states design concept to concrete sleepers: An Australian experience", Frontiers in Mat., 1(8), 1-3.
  19. Kirkland, B. and Uy, B. (2015), "Behaviour and design of composite beams subjected to flexure and axial load", Steel Compos. Struct., Int. J., 19(3), 615-633.
  20. Lam, D. and El-Lobody, E. (2001), "Finite element modelling of headed stud shear connectors in steelconcrete composite beam", (A. Zingoni Ed.), Struct. Eng., Mech. Comp., Elsevier Science, Oxford, pp. 401-408.
  21. Lezgy-Nazargah, M. and Kafi, L. (2015), "Analysis of composite steel-concrete beams using a refined highorder beam theory", Steel Compos. Struct., Int. J., 18(6), 1369-1389.
  22. Li, F., Wu, P. and Liu, D. (2012), "Experimental study on the cable rigidness and static behaviors of AERORail structure", Steel Compos. Struct., Int. J., 12(5), 427-444.
  23. Li, J., Huo, Q., Li, X., Kong, X. and Wu, W. (2014), "Dynamic stiffness analysis of steel-concrete composite beams", Steel Compos. Struct., Int. J., 16(6), 577-593.
  24. Manalo, A., Aravinthan, T., Karunasena, W. and Ticoalu, A. (2010), "A review of alternative materials for replacing existing timber sleepers", Compos. Struct., 92(3), 603-611.
  25. Mirza, O. and Uy, B. (2009), "Behaviour of headed stud shear connectors for composite steel-concrete beams at elevated temperatures", J. Construct. Steel Res., 65(3), 662-674.
  26. Mirza, O. and Uy, B. (2011), "Behaviour of composite beam-column flush end-plate connections subjected to low-probability, high-consequence loading", Eng. Struct., 33(2), 647-662.
  27. Mirza, O., Uy, B. and Patel, N. (2010), "Behaviour and strength of shear connectors utilising blind bolting", Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Steel and Composite Structures, Sydney, Australia, July.
  28. Mirza, O., Zhu, X. and Uy, B. (2011), "Condition assessment and strengthening of shear connection systems for composite bridges", Sustainable Bridges.
  29. Domingo, L.M., Giner, B.B., Martín, C.Z. and Real Herraiz, J.I. (2014), "Experimental modal analysis of transverse-cracked RAILs- influence of the cracks on the real track behavior", Struct. Eng. Mech., Int. J., 52(5), 1019-1032.
  30. Nguyen, H.T. and Kim, S.E. (2009), "Finite element modeling of push-out tests for large stud shear connectors", J. Construct. Steel Res., 65(10-11), 1909-1920.
  31. Oehlers, D.J. and Bradford, M.A. (1995), Composite Steel and Concrete Structural Members: Fundamental Behaviour, Pergamon, New York, NY, USA.
  32. Oehlers, D.J. and Bradford, M.A. (1999), "1 - Introduction", In: Elementary Behaviour of Composite Steel and Concrete Structural Members, Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford, UK, pp. 1-20.
  33. Pecce, M., Rossi, F., Antonio Bibbo, F. and Ceroni, F. (2012), "Experimental behaviour of composite beams subjected to a hogging moment", Steel Compos. Struct., Int. J., 12(5), 395-412.
  34. RailCorp (2010), ESC 310 RailCorp Engineering Standard - Underbridges.
  35. RailCorp (2013a), ESC 220 RailCorp Engineering Standard - Track Rail and Rail Joints. URL:
  36. RailCorp (2013b), ESC 230 RailCorp Engineering Standard - Sleepers and Track Support. URL:
  37. Remennikov, A. and Kaewunruen, S. (2007), "Experimental determination of energy absorption capacity for railway prestressed concrete sleepers under impact loading", Proceedings of the International Conference on Structural Engineering and Construction - ISEC2007, Melbourne, Australia, September. [CD Rom]
  38. Remennikov, A.M. and Kaewunruen, S. (2008), "A review of loading conditions for railway track structures due to train and track vertical interaction", Struct. Cont. Health Monitor., 15(2), 207-234.
  39. Remennikov, A.M. and Kaewunruen, S. (2014), "Experimental load rating of aged railway concrete sleepers", Eng. Struct., 76(10), 147-162.
  40. Remennikov, A.M., Murray, M.H. and Kaewunruen, S. (2011), "Reliability based conversion of a structural design code for prestressed concrete sleepers", Proceedings of the Institute of Mechanical Engineering: Part F J. of Rail and Rapid Transit, 226(2), 155-173.
  41. Standards Australia (2003a), Railway track material - Part 14: Prestressed concrete sleepers; Australian Standard: AS1085.14-2003.
  42. Standards Australia, AS2327.1 2003 (2003b), "Composite structures - Simply supported beams", Australian Standards.
  43. Standards Australia, AS5100.2 (2004), Bridge design - Part 2: Design loads, Australian Standards.
  44. Standards Australia, AS3600 (2009), Concrete Structures, Australian Standards.
  45. Shanmugam, N.E., Kumar, G. and Thevendran, V. (2002), "Finite element modelling of double skin composite slabs", Finite Elem. Anal. Des., 38(7), 579-599.
  46. Shanmuganathan, S., Speers, R., Ruodong, P. and Sriskanthan, S. (2011), "Sydney Harbour Bridge: Replacement rail track support", Proceedings of the 8th Conference on Austroads Bridge, Sydney, Australia, October.
  47. Tahmasebinia, F., Ranzi, G. and Zona, A. (2012), "A probabilistic three-dimensional finite element study on simply-supported composite floor beams", Aust. J. Struct. Eng., 12(3), 251-262.

피인용 문헌

  1. Derailment-resistant performance of modular composite rail track slabs vol.160, 2018,
  2. Reply to Giannakos, K. Comment on: Toughness of Railroad Concrete Crossties with Holes and Web Openings. Infrastructures 2017, 2, 3 vol.2, pp.4, 2017,