A Survey of Dynamic Railway Track Properties & their Quality

By Amnon de Man
December 2002
Delft University Press
ISBN: 90-407-2355-9
235 pages, Illustrated, 6 x 9 "
$74.00 paper original


This is a Doctoral Dissertation. New developments related to railbound transportation put forward new requirements for railway track structures. In the past, the performance of track structures was monitored by means of techniques focusing on the track geometry and the number of incidents. Improvements of both the monitoring techniques and the track performance were mostly made using trial-and-error methods and were largely based on engineer's experience. In an increasing number of railway projects, the requirements put before the track managing companies are so high, that more insight is needed into the performance of tracks, both in present and future situations. In addition to this, new synthetic materials are developed which replace the well-known wooden sleepers and the ballast. The trial-and-error methods and the experience are thus less acceptable to rely on. The vibration behavior of a railway track in the mid- and high-frequency range is one of the indicators of its technical performance. From this vibration behavior, various track and component properties can be derived, like wheel-rail contact stiffness, sound radiation and several others. All of them can serve as quality indicators. Beside this, the vibration behavior can be tuned to operational conditions in such a way to reduce e.g. different types of wear, maintenance needs and noise nuisance. The Dynatrack research project was carried out at Delft University of Technology under supervision of the coordination Committee on Railway Engineering of CROW. The project has delivered several track assessment methods for evaluating actual track condition and typical design properties. Many field and laboratory recordings have contributed to a better understanding of component properties and their sensitivities, but also to a better insight into the consequences of choices of materials, rails, support spacing and other track dimensions.


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