Advanced Rail Geotechnology - Ballasted Track

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Ballast plays a vital role in transmitting and distributing train wheel loads to the underlying sub-ballast and subgrade. Bearing capacity of track, train speed, riding quality and passenger comfort all depend on the stability of ballast through mechanical interlocking of particles. Ballast attrition and breakage occur progressively under heavy cyclic loading, causing track deterioration and rail misalignment—affecting safety and demanding frequent and costly track maintenance. In the absence of realistic constitutive models, the track substructure is traditionally designed using empirical approaches.

In Advanced Rail Geotechnology: Ballasted Track, the authors present detailed information on the strength, deformation and degradation, and aspects of fresh and recycled ballast under monotonic, cyclic, and impact loading using innovative geotechnical testing devices. The book presents a new stress-strain constitutive model for ballast incorporating particle breakage and validates mathematical formulations and numerical models using experimental evidence and field trials. The text also elucidates the effectiveness of various commercially available geosynthetics for enhancing track drainage and stability. It presents revised ballast gradations for modern high-speed trains capturing particle breakage and describes the use of geosynthetics in track design. It also provides insight into track design, capturing particle degradation, fouling, and drainage.

This book is ideal for final year civil engineering students and postgraduates and is a solid reference for practicing railway engineers and researchers with the task of modernizing existing track designs for heavier and faster trains.

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About the author

Professor Buddhima Indraratna is a Civil Engineering graduate from Imperial College London, UK and holds a Masters degree in Soil Mechanics from the same Institution. He obtained his PhD from the University of Alberta, Canada in 1982. After working in industry and academia for several years he joined the University of Wollongong, Australia in 1991, where he is now Professor of Civil (Geotechnical) Engineering, and the Head of School of Civil, Mining and Environmental Engineering.

Professor Indraratna has earned the reputation as one of the world’s leading researchers in rail geotechnology. His work is elucidated in many scholarly journals and invited keynote papers in numerous international conferences since mid-1990’s. His contributions through research and development towards the understanding of ballast and subgrade soil behaviour have been incorporated by numerous rail organisations into their engineering practices for the design and maintenance of ballasted tracks. The outcomes through strategic real-life projects and extensive laboratory testing over the past decade have lead to a major revision of current New South Wales standards for the placement densities of ballast on track and its size gradations, leading to significant track enhancement allowing greater axle loads at much higher speeds.

Among numerous national and international awards over the past decade for his research contributions, Professor Indraratna was awarded the prestigious 2009 Business-Higher Education Round Table (BHERT) award by the Australian Government for his outstanding contributions to rail track innovations in collaboration with industry.
In September 2014 Professor Indranata was awarded the C. S. Desai Excellence Medal by the International Association of Computer Methods and Advances in Geomechanics (IACMAG).

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Additional Information

CRC Press
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Published on
Mar 16, 2011
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Best For
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Science / Mechanics / General
Technology & Engineering / Civil / General
Technology & Engineering / Civil / Transportation
Technology & Engineering / Engineering (General)
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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The first book of its kind, providing over thirty real-life case studies of ground improvement projects selected by the worlds top experts in ground improvement from around the globe.

Volume 3 of the highly regarded Elsevier Geo-engineering book series coordinated by the Series Editor: Professor John A Hudson FREng.

An extremely reader friendly chapter format.

Discusses wider economical and environmental issues facing scientists in the ground improvement.

Ground improvement has been both a science and art, with significant developments observed through ancient history. From the use of straw as blended infill with soils for additional strength during the ancient Roman civilizations, and the use of elephants for compaction of earth dams during the early Asian civilizations, the concepts of reinforced earth with geosynthetics, use of electrokinetics and thermal modifications of soils have come a long way. The use of large and stiff stone columns and subsequent sand drains in the past has now been replaced by quicker to install and more effective prefabricated vertical drains, which have also eliminated the need for more expensive soil improvement methods.

The early selection and application of the most appropriate ground improvement techniques can improve considerably not only the design and performance of foundations and earth structures, including embankments, cut slopes, roads, railways and tailings dams, but also result in their cost-effectiveness. Ground improvement works have become increasingly challenging when more and more problematic soils and marginal land have to be utilized for infrastructure development.

This edited compilation contains a collection of Chapters from invited experts in various areas of ground improvement, who have illustrated the basic concepts and the applications of different ground improvement techniques using real projects that they have been involved in. The case histories from many countries ranging from Asia, America, Australia and Europe are addressed.
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