Design Loads on Railway Substructure: Sensitivity Analysis of the Influence of the Fastening Stiffness

  • Giannakos, Konstantinos (F. ASCE, M. TRB-AR050 & AR060 Comm., AREMA, fib., Design and Operation of Railway Systems, Dpt. Civil Engineering, University of Thessaly)
  • Published : 2014.06.30


The superstructure of the railway track undertakes the forces that develop during train passage and distributes them towards its seating. The track panel plays a key role in terms of load distribution, while at the same time it maintains the geometrical distance between the rails. The substructure and ballast undergo residual deformations under high stresses that contribute to the deterioration of the so-called geometry of the track. The track stiffness is the primary contributing factor to the amount of the stresses that develop on the substructure and is directly influenced by the fastening resilience. Four methods from the international literature are used in this paper to calculate the loads and stresses on the track substructure and the results are compared and discussed. A parametric investigation of the stresses that develop on the substructure of different types of railway tracks (i.e. balastless vs ballasted) is performed and the results are presented as a function of the total static track stiffness.


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