Technical Reports

Assessment of Design Tools and Criteria for Urban Rail Track Structures: Volume II. At-Grade Slab Track

  • 01
  • Apr
  • 1974
AUTHOR: Howard C. Meacham, Robert H. Prause, John Waddell
KEYWORDS: Track Design, Rapid Transit Systems, Soil Mechanics
ABSTRACT: The development of techniques and criteria for track design is an important part of the Rail Supporting Technology Program that is being managed for the Urban Mass Transportation Administration by the Transportation Systems Center (TSC). This report presents the results of a critical review of the technical factors which govern the design and performance of at-grade slab track for urban rail systems. The assessment of current design practice is based on a review of the literature and discussions with experienced track design personnel. The evaluation includes descriptions of slab structures now in use in four countries, followed by review of design and analysis procedures used to characterize the subgrade and its support characteristics; the reinforced concrete slab itself, and the subgrade-support system. With a few exceptions, most of the work reported in the literature is based on highway or runway applications, where the mechanism of load transfer into the slab is completely different than in a rail support slab. Further research on the mechanisms of load transfer from rail fasteners into a reinforced concrete slab is needed, and the newly developed finite element approach appears well-suited. Continued study of settlement and failure criteria is needed for soil and base materials subjected to cyclic loading. The relative merits of various types of reinforced concrete slabs for example, pre-stress or post-stress considerations and joints are recommended for further study.
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