Train-induced dynamic response of railway track and embankments on soft peaty foundations
Hendry, Michael Thomson
The mainline railway track between Dublin and Belfast in Northern Ireland was constructed during the 1850's. Substantial lengths of railway embankment were constructed over poor-quality peaty soils. This was accomplished using tree trunk fascines placed directly on the natural ground surface; with poor-quality local peaty soils used as light weight fill.In recent years, Northern Ireland Railways have noticed that these sections of railway track have been deteriorating more rapidly than sections of the track where the foundations are more competent. The magnitudes of displacement of the track under train loading appear to be increasing gradually over time and train speeds have had to be reduced.This thesis is based on the research done to monitor the response of these railway track and embankment structures to dynamic train loading. The displacements were monitored for two different embankments under a variety of loading conditions and for various seasonal conditions. These displacements were recorded using a sensor created for this task. The sensor consisted of a photo-sensitive array mounted on the sleepers and a laser, which was placed outside the area of influence of train loading, and shone on the photo-sensitive array. Analytical (Winkler) modelling was conducted to determine the effects of train speed and the cause of the large train-induced displacements. Analytical and finite element modelling were used to determine the effectiveness of alternative methods of embankment stabilization.The results from the analytical modelling suggest that the deformation of the embankment under train loading was not due to dynamic excitation, but static deformation of the poor-quality fill and soft foundation materials. From both the analytical and finite element modelling of possible remediation techniques, methods that stiffen the embankment and foundation material are shown to be the most effective at reducing the train induced deflection of the embankment.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
SupervisorHughes, David; Barbour, S. Lee
CommitteeSharma, Jitendra; Haug, Moir D.
finite element modelling