Prediction of long-term differential track settlement in a transition zone using an iterative approach
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2023

A methodology for the simulation of long-term differential track settlement, the development of voided sleepers leading to a redistribution of rail seat loads, and the evolving irregularity in vertical track geometry at a transition between two track forms, is presented. For a prescribed traffic load, the accumulated settlement is predicted using an iterative approach. It is based on a time-domain model of vertical dynamic vehicle–track interaction to calculate the contact forces between sleepers and ballast in the short-term. These are used in an empirical model to determine the long-term settlement of the ballast/subgrade below each sleeper. Gravity loads and state-dependent track conditions are accounted for, including a prescribed variation of non-linear stiffness of the supporting foundation along the track model. In parallel, a two-dimensional (2D) non-linear finite element model of layered soil is verified versus field measurements and used to determine the support stiffness of each sleeper in the track model. The methodology is applied to a transition zone between a ballasted track and a slab track that is subjected to heavy haul traffic. Analyses of the influence of higher axle loads and the implementation of under sleeper pads on sleeper settlement are demonstrated.

Heavy haul traffic

Under sleeper pads

Slab track

Transition zone

Dynamic vehicle–track interaction

Empirical settlement model

Non-linear track model


Kourosh Nasrollahi

Chalmers, Mekanik och maritima vetenskaper, Dynamik

Jens Nielsen

Chalmers, Mekanik och maritima vetenskaper, Dynamik

Emil Aggestam


Jelke Dijkstra

Chalmers, Arkitektur och samhällsbyggnadsteknik, Geologi och geoteknik

Magnus Ekh

Chalmers, Industri- och materialvetenskap, Material- och beräkningsmekanik

Engineering Structures

0141-0296 (ISSN) 1873-7323 (eISSN)

Vol. 283 115830

In2Track-2 (CHARMEC EU19)

Trafikverket, 2018-11-01 -- 2021-10-31.

Europeiska kommissionen (EU) (EC/H2020/826255), 2018-11-01 -- 2021-10-31.


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