Three-dimensional modelling of differential railway track settlement using a cycle domain constitutive model
Journal article, 2016
A method for simulation of differential (spatially varying) track settlement in a ballasted railway track is presented. It employs a cycle domain constitutive model to determine accumulated plastic (permanent) deformation of the granular layers supporting the track. The constitutive model is adopted for both the ballast and the sub-ballast but with different parameter sets. The proposed framework can be used to predict differential track settlement accounting for heterogeneous (space-variant) track characteristics and loading conditions. Here, it is demonstrated for three-dimensional continuum modelling of a railway crossing panel subjected to a large number of axle passages. Because of the design of the crossing panel and the transient character of the impact loads on the crossing, the load transferred into the track bed is not uniform along the track, and the resulting differential settlement leads to vertical irregularities in track geometry. The spatial variation of track settlement is calculated both along the sleepers and along the rails. The influences of the number of adjacent sleepers accounted for in the model and the stiffness of the subgrade on the predicted settlement at the crossing are studied.
3D finite element analysis
differential track settlement
railway switch and crossing