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A Study of Track and Train Dynamic Behavior of Transition Zone

Between Concrete Slab Track and Ballasted Track


1

Y.S.Kang, 1S.C. Yang, 2H.S. Lee, 2Y.B. Kim, 1S.Y. Jang, 1E. Kim

Korea Railroad Research Institute, Uiwang, South Korea1; Sampyo E&C, Seoul, South Korea 2

Abstract
When a train is traveling along the transition such as slab and ballasted track, dynamic
behaviors of rail system and train are abruptly changed. In R&D project, the newly-developed
precast slab track system and track transition between slab and ballasted track was planned to
construct in 2006 on the newly-built Jeolla-line. Maintenance demand, settlement and
component degradation were predicted by a large dynamic response of rail transit system, so it
was need to improve the performance the transition for the mitigation of the dynamic response
of track. Some technical remedies, such as the use of gradual pad stiffness transition and
auxiliary rail, were suggested, it was necessary to verify the design, before the commercial
operation on the site.
In this study, to estimate interface problems in the transition between slab and ballasted track, a
dynamic interaction analysis technique was developed. The track and train coupled model was
developed for the evaluation of dynamic behavior and the design of newly developed slab track
transition on site. A procedure based on time history analysis was presented for solving
problems concerning the dynamic interaction considering auxiliary rail and pad stiffness
transition. After reinforcement of transition on site, the field tests have been carrying out under
operating condition to evaluate the behavior of the transition zone and slab track.
1. Introduction
When a train is traveling along the transition such as slab and ballasted track, dynamic
behaviors of rail system and train are abruptly changed. The variation of the wheel load and
dynamic behavior take place mainly due to the difference of track support stiffness and the rail
irregularity. The fluctuations of wheel load may leads to instability of running track and track
deterioration which increase maintenance costs.
In R&D project which aims to develop technologies for the performance enhancement of newly
developed track system and software, the newly-developed precast slab track system and track
transition between slab and ballasted track was planned to construct in 2006 on the newly-built
Jeolla-line. After completion of the laboratory tests, a 650m test track was planned to construct
in 2006 on the newly-built Jeolla-line. Track transition was also planned to construct between
ballasted and concrete slab track. Maintenance demand, settlement and component
degradation were predicted by a large dynamic response of rail transit system, so it was need to
improve the performance the transition for the mitigation of the dynamic response of track.
Some technical remedies, such as the use of gradual pad stiffness transition and auxiliary rail,
were suggested to improve the performance of track transition. It was necessary to verify the
design, before the commercial operation on the site. For specific transition design, it is required
to evaluate track dynamic response before and after improving track transition.
Accordingly, it is required to develop the analytic method with which the behaviors of train
vehicle and track can be evaluated quantitatively at transition for the track design
2. Construction of slab track test section
The slab track and transition were constructed in the summer of 2006 on the newly-built Jeollaline. After completion of the laboratory tests, a 650m test track was constructed in September

2006 on the newly-built Jeolla-line as shown in Fig 1. The slab track section consist of 236
meter of PSTS slab tracks, transition track 36 meter long between each end of the slab track
and the adjacent ballasted track.

Fig 1 Test track on Jeolla line

Fig 2. Dynamic Model of Power Car

3. General of Mathematical Modeling


In the present study, the half model of power car model with one bogie was considered. If the
whole composition of train vehicle is considered, the actual motion of vehicle train may be
different on long wave irregularity of track. Nevertheless this developed model can be used for
the prediction of track and train system.
In this study, to estimate interface problems in the transition zone, a dynamic interaction
analysis technique was developed as shown in Fig 2. The track and train coupled model with 5
degree of freedom was developed for dynamic interaction analysis in two dimensional space.
3.1 Equation of Motion
The train vehicle is modeled as a 5-degree-of-freedom lumped mass system comprising the car
body, bogie and wheels as shown in Fig 2. The equations of motion for the train model are
derived, which considers the motions of power car including bouncing motions. The motion of
train is represented by the following expression of degrees of freedom. qi is denote the vector of
degree of freedom.

qi = { yc ,c , yb1 , yw1 , yw 2 }T

(1)

Where, yc , c , ybi , ywi are the vertical displacement of car body, rotation of car body, rotation
of i-th bogie, the vertical displacement of wheel. qi denote the vector of degree of freedom and
load vector.
The contact mechanism between the wheel and rail was modeled with Herzian nonlinear
contact spring.
CH =

32 32 12 1 2
A

9
E

P = CH 3 / 2

(2)
(3)

Where, CH , , E is herzian spring coefficient, a value for = cos 1 ( B / A) , elastic modulus of


steel. Train vehicle and track system can be coupled as an integral entity at the wheel/rail
contacts.
3.2 Track Transition Model
Rail was modeled as a continuous beam element, which was supported discretely by a rail pad
and sleeper. For each discrete supporting point, the sleeper, ballast and subgrade were

modeled as concentrated mass and spring and attenuation supporting the mass at the joint
point. In order to simulate track behaviors when train passes the transition zone between
concrete slab track and ballasted track, precast slab track was modeled as a continuous beam
element and the gradual change of pad stiffness in the track support coefficient was considered.
Numerical studies are performed to assess the effect of various parameters of track system
considering reinforcement rail, varying pad stiffness and settlement of roadbed.

Fig 3. Performance improvements of transition track on Site


3.3 The solution of track and vehicle system
The combination of track and vehicle can be regarded as one system. The individual vehicle
and track system matrix are combined to formulate a following equation.
[ M total ]{u&&} + [Ctotal ]{u&} + [ K total ]{u} = { P}

(4)

Where, [ M total ] , [Ctotal ] , [ K total ] denotes the mass matrices, the damping matrices, and the
stiffness matrices of total system. And {u&&} , {u&} , {u} are the acceleration, velocity and
displacement vectors, respectively. {P} is the corresponding force vector containing the
wheel/rail interface forces.
[ M uu ]

[ M total ] = 0
0

[ M ww ]
0

[Cuu ]
0

0 [Ctotal ] = 0
0
[ M TT ]

[Cww ]
0

[ K uu ]
0
0
0

0 [ K total ] = 0
[ K ww ] [ K wT ] (5)
0
[ KTw ] [ KTT ]
[CTT ]

Where, [ M uu ] , [ M ww ] ,

[ M TT ] denote the mass matrices of carbody, unsprung and track


system. [Cuu ] , [Cww ] , [CTT ] , [Cuu ] , [Cww ] , [CTT ] denote damping matrices of carbody, herzian
contact spring and track system and stiffness matrices respectively. [ K wT ] [ K Tw ] mean wheel
and rail coupled matrix.
The equation of dynamic equation provided equation (4) was solved in the time domain. A
dynamic analysis was conducted with the modified Newmark- method.

4. Dynamic Analysis
4.1 Properties
The dynamic properties of track and vehicle are listed in Table 1. A dynamic interaction analysis
was performed considering track irregularities, the change of track modulus. To evaluate track
dynamic response before and after improving track transition, dynamic analysis was performed.

Table 1.Properties of model


vehicle

track

54979

carbody mass (kg)

3500

bogie mass (kg)

60.3

2065

Wheelset mass (kg)

1516

primary suspension stiffness (kN/m)

rail mass per unit length (kg/m)

309010

30

primary suspension damping (kNsec/m)

940

secondary suspension stiffness (kN/m)

40

secondary suspension damping(kNsec/m)

rail bending stiffness (kN/m4)

-8

150103

rail pad stiffness (kN/m)

20.0

rail pad damping (kNs/m)

260

sleeper mass (kg)


3

198010

sleeper support stiffness (kN/m)

600

sleeper support damping (kNs/m)

4.2 The examination in the case of no performance improvements on transition


Figure 4 shows the results of analysis in the case no improvements were applied with 20mm
variation of track irregularity. The contact forces, rail accretion and vertical deflection are
abruptly changed in transition of slab track and ballasted track. A change in the track vertical
stiffness and track irregularities lead to the wheel and track to experience impact load. Dynamic
impacts on wheel and rail may develop track irregularity growth. The contact forces and rail
accretion are more increased than transition without irregularity.
0.0016

140

2nd Wheel
1st Wheel

Rail Vertical Deflection(mm)

Contact Force(kN)

130
120
110
100
90
80
70

2nd wheel
1st wheel

0.0014

0.0012

0.0010

0.0008

0.0006

60

0.0004
30

40

50

60

70

Wheel Position(m)

(a) Contact Force

80

90

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

Wheel Position(m)

(b) Rail Vertical Deflection

Fig 4. Dynamic behaviors of transition with no improvement

4.3 The examination in the case of performance improvements on transition


The increasing impact force may results in the damage of track components and the increase of
maintenance cost. To reduce the increase of dynamic impacts, a number of remedies may be
used to provide gradual stiffness transition. In this study, we considered the use of auxiliary rail,
pad stiffness transition. The elastic change of pad stiffness was applied to lessen the
subsidence of the track. The stiffness step change is modified with a gradual increase in
stiffness. Fig 5 shows the rail deflection diagram for static design in transition.Fig 6 shows the
results of dynamic analysis for transition considering the use of auxiliary rail and pad stiffness
transition.
Fig 7 (a) and (b) shows the maximum contact force and rail acceleration. The case 1 and case 2
mean the dynamic behavior of track transition according to the train direction (slab track to
ballasted track). The case 3 and case 4 express the behavior of the opposition direction
(ballasted track to slab track). The case 1 and case 3 means the state no improvements are
taken, and others the state improvements, such as auxiliary rails and pad transition, are taken.

If the irregularity is managed within 5mm, the growth of rail irregularity will be reduced and the
dynamic behavior of track related to impact load could be reduced.

1 .6

Rail Vertical deflection [mm]

in the case of 10-Wheel Load

1 .4
1 .2
1 .0
0 .8
S l a b tr a c k
( H i g h S ti f f n e s s T r a c k )

B a l l a s te d tr a c k
( L o w e r S ti f f n e s s T r a c k )

0 .6
A u x ilia ry R a il

0 .4
k p=
2 2 . 5 k N /m m

0 .2

Tr 1

Tr 2

Tr 3

Tr 4

Tr 5

k p=
2 2 .5 k N /m m

k p=
2 7 k N /m m

k p=
2 9 k N /m m

k p=
4 3 k N /m m

k p=
4 5 k N /m m

k p=
1 5 0 0 k N /m m

0 .0
0

10

15

20

25

30

35

D is ta n c e [m ]

Fig 5. Static design in transition


0.0016
140

2nd wheel
1st wheel

2nd wheel
1st wheel

0.0014

Rail Verical Deflection(m)

Contact Force(kN)

130
120
110
100
90
80
70

0.0012

0.0010

0.0008

0.0006

60

0.0004
30

40

50

60

70

80

90

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

Wheel Position(m)

Wheel Position(m)

(a) Contact Force

(b) Rail Vertical Deflection

Fig 6. Dynamic behaviors of transition after improvements


1000

Case 1
Case 2 (Aux+P.T)
Case 3
Case 4 (Aux+P.T)

150
140

Case 1
Case 2 (Aux+P.T)
Case 3
Case 4 (Aux+P.T)

800

Rail Acceleration(g)

Maximum Contact Force(kN)

160

130
120
110

600

400

200

100
0

10

15

Rail irregularity(mm)

(a) Maximum Contact Force

20

10

15

20

Rail irregularity(mm)

(b) Rail Acceleration

Fig 7. Relation between track behavior and rail irregularity in the transition
5. Construction on Test Site
So Test track was constructed on the site. The following performance improvements were
applied for the transition. The slab track design at the transition follows the principles of the DB
Guideline RiL804 and the provisions of the EBA Certificate.

1) Installation of auxiliary rails


2) Transition of track stiffness
3) Elongation of HBL and FPL layer
4) FPL reinforcement of Geogrid textile
5) Bond between the Precast Slab Frames and the reinforced concrete base for prevention of
uplifting Frames
Auxiliary rails were used for the prevention of growing irregularity and the reducing the variation
of wheel load. Actually, auxiliary rails enable for train vehicles to operate smoothly between slab
track and ballasted track. Auxiliary rails were combined on the precast slab for 5.2 m section
and the 30 m rails were extended to the ballasted track. The transition sleepers (German Rheda
type, a special B355.3) are use for fasten auxiliary rail and load distribution.
For the uniform and gradual change in track modulus, rail pads with appropriate vertical
stiffness were used. The elastic change of pad stiffness was applied to lessen the subsidence of
the track by changing the elasticity from 22.5kN to 50kN/mm in 5 steps. The substructure of slab
track as HBL layer and FPL layer were elongated for prevention of subsoil settlement.
The ground bearing capacity was reinforced especially by strengthening the lower part of DS
804 through the Geogrid.
The bond between the PSTS Frames and the reinforced concrete base has to be provided by
steel dowels. To seal the joint between pre-cast element and the cast in place concrete fill a
material was placed at the PSTS Frame opening. The bond between the cast in place concrete
base and the HSB layer has to be pro-vided by steel dowels.

(a) Bond between the precast slab frames


and the reinforced concrete base

(b) Installation of auxiliary rail


in transition

Fig 8. Transition of slab track and ballasted track


Finally, the field tests have been carrying out under operating condition to evaluate the long
term behavior of the transtion zone and slab track. After construction, there was train passage in
the transition. To test the track system, field measurements are carring out on the site under
regular operation conditions to evaluate the long term behavior of permanent way systems
under operating conditions. There have been no abnormal responses of track transition. Only
some void sleepers were founded, so we conduct maintenance.
6. Conclusion
In this paper, train/track interaction analytic method was developed to estimate interface
problems in the transition between slab and ballasted track. We analyzed the dynamic behavior
before and after improving the performance of track transition. As a result of analysis, it is
deduced that technical remedies for transition are necessary. So the gradual pad stiffness
transition, auxiliary rail, elongation of HBL and FPL layer and bond between the precast slab
frames and the reinforced concrete base were applied for track improvements. Track
irregularities monitoring and field tests are performed, during monitoring period, there was no
abnormal responses of track transition.

Acknowledgements
The authors acknowledge the financial support of R&D Project funded by Korea Ministry of
Construction and Transport (MOCT):Technology Development for Stabilization of High-Speed
Railway Technology and Technology Development for Standardization of Urban Railway
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