Analysis of improving Railway transition zones in the Queensland Rail network: intervention in super structure components.

Clarke, Michael (2021) Analysis of improving Railway transition zones in the Queensland Rail network: intervention in super structure components. [USQ Project]

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CLARKE Michael dissertation_redacted.pdf

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Rapid track degradation at transition zones is a problem for railway operators around the world. In railway lines, transitions from different track structures such as bridges, tunnels or direct fix track introduce transition zones. Transition zones typical introduce a large differential in the track stiffness that result in rapid track degradation such as crushed ballast, rail head defects and rail fastening failures. Track defects at transition zones are difficult to address, and consequently subject to higher maintenance and monitoring regimes. The design and maintenance of transition zones has been studied extensively, but a consensus on optimal improvement methods has not yet been reached. The transition zone at the bridge on the up main line at 8.520 km on the Redcliffe Peninsula line represents a typical poor performing transition zone in the Queensland Rail network.

This research project models two distinct design improvements in the track superstructure to determine a cost effective solution that is fit for purpose for the transition zone at Kedron Brook. Design option one modelled heavier sleepers directly after the bridge abutment and design option two modelled rail base plates bonded with rubber mounted on the bridge and on sleepers in the transition zone. Whilst the problems at railway transition zones are well understood, the factors critical to the accelerated track degradation such as vehicle dynamics, mechanical properties of the substructure and dynamic deflection are difficult to quantify and model. An analytical 2D dynamic model was used and was selected for its accuracy and flexibility. Field deflection data at the transition was collected to calibrate the model and provide baseline data to assess the performance of any intervention. The results of the model found that the heavier sleepers improved the deflection in the model by up to 50% percent and that the rail base plates failed to significantly improve the stiffness and deflection in the transition zone. Further research and monitoring is required to determine the long term performance of any interventions.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Yousif, Belal
Qualification: Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering
Date Deposited: 03 Jan 2023 00:08
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2023 00:59
Uncontrolled Keywords: rail, track, degradation, transition zone, railway, defect, maintenance

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