Experimental investigation on dynamic railway sleeper/ballast interaction

A. Remennikov, S. Kaewunruen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


In ballasted railway tracks, one of the important components that supports the rails and distributes wheel/rail loading onto the ballast supporting formation is a railway sleeper (sometimes is also called a “railway tie”). This paper presents results of an experimental modal analysis of prestressed concrete sleepers in both free-free and in-situ conditions, incorporating the dynamic influence of sleeper/ballast interaction. Dynamic interaction between concrete sleepers and ballast support is crucial for the development of a dynamic model of railway track capable of predicting its responses to impact loads due to wheel flats, wheel burns, irregularities of the rail, etc. In this study, four types of prestressed concrete sleepers were in-kind provided by the Australian manufacturers. The concrete sleepers were tested using an impact hammer excitation technique over the frequency range of interest, 0–1600 Hz. Frequency response functions (FRFs) were measured using PULSE modal testing system. The FRFs were processed using STAR modal analysis package to identify natural frequencies and the corresponding mode shapes for the sleepers. The conclusions are presented about the effect of the sleeper/ballast interaction on the dynamic properties of prestressed concrete sleepers and their use for predicting railway track dynamic responses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-66
JournalExperimental Mechanics
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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