Numerical Investigation of Impact Load Effects on Railroad Track Systems

UIUC Project Information

NuRail Project IDNuRail2017-UIUC-R19
Project TitleNumerical Investigation of Impact Load Effects on Railroad Track Systems
UniversityUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Project ManagerRiley Edwards
Principal InvestigatorMarcus Dersch
PI Contact Information
Funding Source(s) and Amounts Provided (by each agency or organization)
Total Project Cost$
Agency ID or Contract NumberDTRT13-G-UTC52 (Grant 2)
Start Date2017-01-01
End Date2019-07-01
Brief Description of Research ProjectObjective: The objective of this project is to use a quantitative approach to addressing design factors to provide economies in future concrete crosstie designs based on probability of exceedance and other metrics that relate to the residual capacity and factors of safety for rail transit infrastructure.

Background and method: Increases in the number of new rail transit projects in North America has generated renewed interest in optimizing the design of the track infrastructure and its components. In North America, many track component design guidelines use historical wheel loads and design loading factors. These design factors may not be representative of the loading experienced on rail networks today, leading to over-designed infrastructure components. Therefore, this project aim to lay the groundwork for an improved understanding of the loading environment entering the track structure using wheel loads data obtained from recently deployed field instrumentation and existing wheel impact load detectors (WILDs). This study evaluates existing design impact factors and assess their effectiveness. New design loading factors will be proposed to represent the rail transit wheel loading environment more accurately based on the analysis from this project.
Describe Implementation of Research Outcomes (or why not implemented)
Impacts/Benefits of Implementation (actual, not anticipated)
Web Links
Project Website
Final ReportNURail2017-UIUC-R19 Final Report.pdf