Development of a limit state design methodology for railway track

Leong, Jeffrey (2007) Development of a limit state design methodology for railway track. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


The research presented in this thesis is aimed at developing a limit state design methodology for railway track for recommendation to Standards Australia's next revision of the 'Permanent way materials: prestressed concrete sleepers' code (AS1085.14, 2003).

There is widespread suspicion that the railway track, particularly concrete sleepers, have untapped reserves of strength that has potential engineering and economic advantages for track owners. Through quantifying the effects of train speed, wheel impact loadings and distribution of vehicle loads, track engineers would be able to design railway track more accurately and hence uncover the reserves of strengths in railway track.

To achieve this improvement a comprehensive set of wheel/rail impact measurements has been collected over a one year period to establish a distribution of track loadings. The wheel/rail impact data collected showed a logarithmically linear distribution which shows that impact forces are randomly occurring events. The linearity of the data also allows for wheel/rail impact forces to be forecasted allowing for a more rational risk based design of the railway track.

To help with an investigation of the influence of changes to train operation on the wheel/rail impact force distributions, development of a new dynamic track computer model capable of simulating the complex interaction between the train and track was completed within this research. The model known as DTRACK (Dynamic analysis of rail TRACK) was benchmarked against other dynamic models and field data to validate its outputs.

The field measurements and DTRACK simulations became the basis for development of a limit state design methodology for railway track (risk based approach) for railway track in place of an allowable limit state (compliance based) approach. This new approach will allow track owners to assess the track capacity based on more realistic loads and is expected to allow an increase in the capacity of existing track infrastructure which will allow railways to be more commercially competitive and viable.

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ID Code: 16565
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Murray, Martin & Powell, John
Keywords: railways, railway track, sleepers, train speed, impact loading, computer model
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Department: Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Jeffrey Leong
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 04:06
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:49

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