Structural Crack Identification in Railway Prestressed Concrete Sleepers Using Dynamic Mode Shapes

Rims Janeliukstis, Sandris Rucevskis, Sakdirat Kaewunruen

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Railway prestressed concrete sleepers are a structural and safety-critical component in railwaytracks. They are commonly embedded in ballast or gravel to enhance lateral track stability. Thispractice has prohibited the ability to visually observe or inspect the structural condition of the railwaysleepers. It is important to note that damage of a sleeper may not seem to immediately lead to trainderailments in a plain ballasted track. However, such the damage can lead to broken switch, bowedcrossing, broken welds and wing-rail in switches and crossings or on the transom or railway bridge,potentially resulting in a train derailment from either excessive resultant track geometry defects orprogressive component defects. Without proper maintenance or replacement in a timely manner,such the small damage can extend to a larger damage and lead to costly unplanned maintenancecosts from aggravated impact loading, unbalanced load transfer, and other consequences caused bybroken sleepers.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1139
Number of pages3
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sept 2018
Event2018 International Symposium on Rail Infrastructure Systems Engineering - Brno, Czech Republic
Duration: 5 Jun 20185 Jun 2018


  • structural crack
  • crack identification
  • railway
  • concrete sleepers
  • dynamic mode shape
  • vibration


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