Browse Publications Technical Papers 2001-01-3301


The design optimisation of a track structure requires the knowing of the realistic service loads, obtainable by means of “on-track tests”. The track design is obviously based on the static and dynamic load distribution applied to the rails, but also depends on the distribution of these loads through the rails and then to a number of sleepers. Moreover, there are effects of the rail stiffness and trackbed modulus influencing the forces which should be applied in a laboratory test. The knowedge is of great importance when, for example, one has to deal with the testing of new rail fastening assemblies. However in-service tests show two big drawbacks. The first is involved with the stopping of the traffic on line which must be planned and managed within a short time; the second is related to the impossibility of leading the system parameters close to their critical values to point out the mechanical strength of the adopted structural components. To overcome these problems, even if in a partial way, a full scale testing machine has been designed and buit at the Department of Design and Industrial Management of the University of Naples. The aim is to reproduce real strain-time history recorded during “on-track tests” and the relative movement of the rail to the sleepers. Also a numerical model has been set up for a better understanding of the stress-strain history and subsequently forecasts the critical conditions in the fastening systems. The present work has been developed within a research project whose goals are:
  1. 1
    to establish design parameters in order to develop new or improved railtrack components;
  2. 2
    to verify the performance of new or existing railtrack components;
  3. 3
    to provide data which may be used to improve laboratory test methods;
  4. 4
    solving specific local problems.


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