Experimental Study on In-plane Stiffness of Track in a Turnout of the Railway in Vietnam

The Open Construction & Building Technology Journal 05 December 2023 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/0118748368274755231128111815



This study aims to determine the in-plane stiffness of the track in a turnout of the railway in Vietnam.


Track stiffness is a basic parameter of railway tracks that influences the bearing capacity of the track, the dynamic behavior of passing vehicles, the quality of track geometry, and the life of track components.


The objective of this research is to determine the in-plane stiffness of the track based on substructure modulus, and rail pad stiffness at a track section in a turnout.


Various tests which included the field tests of the substructure modulus, and rail pad stiffness tests in the laboratory were done. Substructure modulus was investigated at ten locations in the field. Rail pad stiffness was tested with five samples in the laboratory. In-plane stiffness of the track was calculated through substructure modulus and rail pad stiffness. The finite element method was used to evaluate the bearing capacity of bearings with different in-plane stiffness values.


Based on the results obtained, the substructure modulus was from 0.49 N/mm3 to 1.48 N/mm3. The rail pad stiffness is from 32.99 kN/mm to 34.92 kN/mm. These results are used to calculate the in-plane stiffness of the track. The in-plane stiffness of a track section in a turnout in Vietnam is from 25.18 kN/mm to 30.19 kN/mm. According to the finite element method, it is possible to determine the maximum value of forces transmission to the supports from 37.743 kN to 38.989 kN corresponding to the above stiffness values with the axle load of train 14 tons and rail P60.


The stiffness of the supporting is proportional to the value of the force transmitted to the supporting. This study clearly showed that the substructure (soil and ballast) properties had the most impact on the total in-plane stiffness of the track. The results will be a tool for the track maintenance engineer to implement correct maintenance activities.

Keywords: Stiffness, Modulus, Turnout, Rail pad, Substructure, Support, Railway.
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