Other Reports

A Method For Upgrading The Peformance At Track Transitions For High-Speed Service

  • 01
  • Sep
  • 2001
AUTHOR: Kerr, Arnold D. and Bathurst, Lucas A
OFFICE: RPD
REPORT NUMBER: DOT-VNTSC-FRA-00-06
SUBJECT: High-Speed Passenger Rail
KEYWORDS: high-speed trains, transition regions, matched pads, track, dynamic load fluctuations, vertical track stiffness, dynamic wheel force, track ballast, bridge abutments
ABSTRACT: High-speed trains in the speed range of 100 to 160 mph require tracks of nearly perfect geometry and mechanical uniformity, when subjected to moving wheel loads. Therefore, this report briefly describes the remedies being used by various railroads to create smoothed transition regions. Some of the associated shortcomings are pointed out. Then, the method of matched pads, as presented by Kerr and Moroney ( 1993) is described. The aim of this method is to eliminate the need for transition sections by "softening" the tracks on the bridge, so that dynamic loads caused by the moving trains are greatly reduced. As part of this effort, matched pads were developed, produced, and installed on a number of open-deck bridges. Field measurements revealed that the improvements caused by the installation of the matched pads and the associated treatment of the tracks near the abutments may be very significant. The obtained results suggest that the use of matched pads may be an effective and economical way to eliminate or greatly reduce, the effect of track transitions, and that it could be useful for adjusting existing railway tracks for hi11h-speed train travel.

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