Technical Reports

Vertical Track Modulus in Plastic Composite Tie Test Zones at FAST

  • 24
  • Jan
  • 2003
AUTHOR: Federal Railroad Administration; Rafael Jimenez
SUBJECT: Track, Tracks & Structures, Track/Train Interactions
KEYWORDS: Heavy axle load, stiffness,
ABSTRACT: Transportation Technology Center (TTCI) conducted vertical track modulus tests on existing plastic composite tie test zones on the High Tonnage Loop (HTL) at the Federal Railroad Administration's (FRA) Facility for Accelerated Service Testing (FAST), Pueblo, Colorado. Warm and cold weather tests were performed to document the effect of temperature on the stiffness of track fitted with plastic ties. An adjacent solid-sawn oak wood tie test zone was used as a control zone. The static measurement results indicated that the vertical track modulus of plastic tie track in the 6-degree curve of the HTL was comparable to oak wood tie track in the same curve during a 57-degree change in ambient temperature and concurrent 88-degree change in center of the tie temperature. The dynamic measurements provided a relative comparison of the low rail vertical stiffness in plastic tie track and the low rail stiffness of wood tie track throughout the 6-degree curve. The results of the dynamic measurements agree with those of the static measurements in the comparability of plastic tie track and wood tie track.
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