Predicting and measuring vertical track displacements on soft subgrades

Several analytical models can be used to predict the propagation of bending waves in the track/embankment system. A model of a Euler beam on a Winkler foundation is studied and used to demonstrate how the magnitude of displacements are dependent on train speed and track damping. The methods by which the model parameters may be calculated are discussed and their relative advantages and disadvantages are considered. From this study it is possible to form practical suggestions on methods by which the design of rail tracks can be adjusted to limit the maximum transient deflections as a train passes. This paper compares results from a predictive method with the results of in-situ assessments.