Vulnerability of railway switches and crossings exposed to flooding conditions

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Turnouts are a part of modern railway tracks to divert railway traffic from one route to another route. Their complex geometry and structure impose significant dynamic track loads. Particularly, common crossings laid on bal-lasted tracks are well-known among the infrastructure managers for their drawbacks. Numerous studies have been devoted to analyze a railway turn-out with a common crossing. Nevertheless, almost all of them considers that turnouts are working in a dry environment. In reality, railway tracks are ex-posed to extreme conditions such as flooding, which could damage the pow-er supply, signaling systems, rolling stocks and the infrastructure. The so-called phenomenon ‘washed out’ or ‘washed away’ ballast affects directly the dynamic behavior of rolling stock and can cause derailments with fatali-ties. In 2018, for instance, 25 people were killed in an accident in Turkey as a result of ‘washed away ballast’. Few studies analyze unprecedented events in railway tracks in terms of vehicle-track interaction. However, no studies on turnouts was encountered in the literature. Hence, it is a significant con-tribution to analyze a railway turnout in case flooding occurs. In this study, the beam oriented finite element model, validated previously, is manipulated to analyze the dynamic behavior of a turnout under dry and wet conditions as well as washed away ballast scenarios. The outcomes of the study show that considering the effects of flooding on dynamic forces during operation and design phases could be a key to prevent undesired events.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResilient Infrastructure
Subtitle of host publicationselect proceedings of VCDRR 2021
EditorsSreevalsa Kolathayar, Chandan Ghosh, Basanta Raj Adhikari, Indrajit Pal, Arpita Mondal
PublisherSpringer Nature
ISBN (Electronic)9789811669781
ISBN (Print)9789811669774
Publication statusPublished - 29 Oct 2021
EventVirtual Conference on DISASTER RISK REDUCTION : Civil Engineering for a Disaster Resilient Society -
Duration: 15 Mar 202120 Mar 2021

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Civil Engineering
ISSN (Print)2366-2557


ConferenceVirtual Conference on DISASTER RISK REDUCTION
Abbreviated titleVCDRR2021


  • Dynamic
  • Finite element method analysis
  • Flooding
  • Railway
  • Turnout


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