Keynote lecture: vulnerability of interspersed railway tracks exposed to flood and washaway conditions

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Japan Railway Technical Research Institute


In many countries, timber sleepers have been widely used in traditional rail-way networks. Over the time, timbers degrade and it becomes more difficult to seek cost-effective hardwood sleepers to replace the deteriorated timber sleepers. To enable a short-term solution, many infrastructure managers adopt the interspersing method of track maintenance. The interspersed pat-tern sleeper, a spot replacement of old timber sleeper with concrete or com-posite counterparts, of railway track is often used as a temporary mainte-nance for secondary railway lines such as yards, balloon loops or siding. It is observed that performance of interspersed tracks can quickly deteriorate when the tracks are exposed to heavy rains and floods. In many cases, ballast washaway can be often observed. This study is the world first to demonstrate the influences of ballast washaway on the vulnerability assessment of inter-spersed sleeper railway using nonlinear finite element simulations, STRAND7. Two moving point loads representing an axle load along each rail has been established to investigate the worst-case, potential instabilities for impaired performance of sleepers and differential settlement of the track. In this study, the emphasis is placed on the effect of ballast washaway on the dynamic displacement and acceleration of rails. The insight will help track engineers develop appropriate climate change adaptation method and policy for operations of interspersed railway tracks facing extreme rainfall and flooding conditions.

Bibliographic note

Not yet published as of 13/09/2021.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of VCDRR 2021
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 20 Mar 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 (Electronic)2366-2557


ConferenceVirtual Conference on DISASTER RISK REDUCTION
Abbreviated titleVCDRR2021

Sustainable Development Goals