The behaviour of railway level crossings: insights through field monitoring

Louis Le Pen, Geoff Watson, William Powrie, Graeme Yeo, Paul Weston, Clive Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)
299 Downloads (Pure)


The development of reliable methods for measuring deflections as trains pass has enabled valuable insights into railway track behaviour to be gained. This is especially useful for problem areas such as transitions from normal ground onto hard substructures and complex track geometries such as switches and crossings.
To date, much of the research on transition zone behaviour has focussed on transitions associated with underbridges and other substructures. Switches and crossings have received some attention and level crossings generally very little. This paper describes and discusses the behaviour of a transition onto a level crossing in the south of England, UK. Measurements are presented from both trackside and on-train instruments. It is found that at this crossing, maintenance constraints have resulted in a group of unsupported or hanging sleepers on the approach to the crossing; and that this fault is not effectively rectified by tamping. Comparisons are also made between the way the fault shows up in measurements from trains of the loaded track profile and data from trackside measurements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-213
JournalTransportation Geotechnics
Issue number4
Early online date24 May 2014
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014


  • Level crossing
  • Ballast
  • Railway
  • Geophones
  • Digital image correlation
  • Transition


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