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Title: Track behaviour : the importance of the sleeper to ballast interface
Author: Le Pen, Louis
ISNI:       0000 0001 3606 4098
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2008
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The aim of this research is to develop a fuller understanding of the mechanical behaviour of the sleeper/ballast interface, related in particular, to the forces applied by high speed tilting trains on low radius curves. The research has used literature review, field measurements, and laboratory experiments on a single sleeper bay of track. Theoretical calculations are also presented. Field measurements are carried out using geophones to record time/deflection for sleepers during passage of Pendolino trains on the West Coast Main Line. Calculations are presented to quantify normal and extreme magnitudes of vertical, horizontal and moment (VHM) loads on individual sleepers. Results from laboratory experiments, on the pre-failure behaviour of the sleeper to ballast base contact area, show that lateral load/deflection behaviour is load path dependent and relations are determined for improved computer modelling of the sleeper/ballast interface. Further test results are used to establish the failure envelopes for combined VHM loading of the sleeper/ballast base contact area. Tests show that the sleeper/ballast base resistance at failure occurs at a load ratio (H/V) of about 0.45 (24°) at 2 mm of displacement tending to 0.57 (30°) at greater displacements. In addition, measurements from pressure plates within the testing apparatus are used to describe the development of confining stress within the ballast during 100 cycles of vertical load. The development of confining stress is assessed with reference to a finite element model of the laboratory apparatus and it is shown that the earth pressure ratio moves towards the active condition for peak load and the passive condition at minimum load per cycle. The contribution to lateral resistance of the crib ballast and varying sizes of shoulder ballast is also established and it is found that the shoulder and crib resistance can best be characterised by taking the mean resistance over a range of deflection from 2 mm to 20 mm. Calculations are presented, supported by the experimental data, to quantify the resistance from different sizes of shoulder ballast and a chart is presented which can be used as the basis for shoulder specification in practice.
Supervisor: Powrie, William Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: TF Railroad engineering and operation