Composite slabs for railway construction and maintenance: a mechanistic review

D.W.P. Griffin, O. Mirza, K. Kwok, S. Kaewunruen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Australian railway networks alone require timber components in excess of 280,000 m3 per year for railway construction and maintenance. The relatively high turnover of timber sleepers (crossties in a plain track), bearers (skeleton ties in a turnout) and transoms (bridge cross beams) is responsible for producing greenhouse gas emissions six times greater than equivalent reinforced concrete counterparts. This study reviews the railway maintenance problems and solutions for the replacement of these high maintenance members. Alternative composite materials to replace timber components in railway infrastructure construction and maintenance have been developed extensively in recent years. This critical review outlined an innovative solution incorporating composite slab theory and combining with the capabilities of being precast and modular, in order to reduce the depth, weight and required installation time relative to conventional track slab systems. Systemic risks, compatibilities and compliances are highlighted to warrant real-world applicability of composite structures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-262
Number of pages20
JournalIES Journal Part A: Civil and Structural Engineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2014


  • railway infrastructure
  • tracks
  • modular components
  • precast composites
  • construction
  • maintenance
  • replacement
  • bridge


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