Modelling Rail Track Performance: An Integrated Approach

Zhang, Yu-Jiang, Murray, Martin H., & Ferreira, Luis (2000) Modelling Rail Track Performance: An Integrated Approach. Transport Journal, pp. 187-194.


This paper reports on the work undertaken at the Queensland University of Technology to develop an integrated computer based tool for the prediction of track behaviour under changing traffic conditions. The track degradation model described here takes into account the degradation effects due to the interactions between track components. The model uses mechanistic relationships and embraces all the major factors which may influence service life of track components. The model was applied to a typical Australian railway track and the results are summarised here. The results showed that increasing axle load and train speed accelerates track degradation in general and rail wear in particular. Sub-grade stiffness and ballast depth are found to be the most important parameters for track roughness. Timber sleeper failure is sensitive to both traffic parameters and environmental factors, such as the decay index and track drainage condition. Increases in axle loads may not lead to higher sleeper damage failure rate at fixed traffic loads. Decay index, track drainage condition and average age of sleepers, all have a noticeable effect on sleeper failure.

Impact and interest:

13 citations in Scopus
9 citations in Web of Science®
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Full-text downloads:

1,187 since deposited on 08 Nov 2005
30 in the past twelve months

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ID Code: 2431
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Awarded the 2001 Webb Prize by the Institution of Engineers UK for the best paper in railway engineering and transportation.
Keywords: modelling, track performance, computer model, track degradation, railway engineering
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > CIVIL ENGINEERING (090500) > Transport Engineering (090507)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2000 Institution of Civil Engineers, UK
Deposited On: 08 Nov 2005 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:28

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