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Behaviour of two layer railway track ballast under cyclic and monotonic loading.

Key, Andrew J (1999) Behaviour of two layer railway track ballast under cyclic and monotonic loading. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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New railway track is laid to a specified level and alignment. However, with time and trafficking movements occur in the ballast bed and the underlying subgrade, and frequent maintenance is necessary to re-establish the correct geometry. This is currently done by the process of tamping, where extra material is vibrated under the sleeper to raise its level. Unfortunately this is not permanent, and the sleeper eventually reverts to its premaintenance state. Prior to mechanised tamping, track was relevelled by hand shovel packing in which the sleepers were raised and fine aggregate shovelled into the space under the sleeper, giving a permanent lift. A prototype of a mechanised version of this process, called the Stoneblower, has been developed and is currently undergoing field trials. It lifts the sleeper and blows single size stone smaller than the ballast into the void space, creating a two layer granular foundation for each sleeper. In order to get a better understanding of the behaviour of a two layer granular foundation when subjected to repeated loading a laboratory study involving large scale cyclic triaxial testing of single size and two layer ballast has been carried out. This has been complemented by a large scale model study using a 'half sleeper rig' in which ballast beds similar to those produced by stoneblowing have been subjected to repeated loading simulating long term railway trafficking. These tests have been used to carry out a parametric study into stone angularity, stone size and layer geometry to assess their influence on the layered system, with the results being assessed primarily in terms of the resilient modulus and plastic deformation undergone by the material. In the triaxial tests it was found that the layer of smaller material was the major controlling factor for the deformation. However, the layer of larger material tended to act as a restraint, effectively reducing the HID ratio of the specimen. In the model testing, it was found that the smaller material dictated how the load was transmitted to the ballast bed, and this was then responsible for the majority of the settlement.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Railway track foundations
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Engineering (Sheffield) > Civil and Structural Engineering (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.481295
Depositing User: EThOS Import Sheffield
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2016 10:04
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2016 10:04
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/14504

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