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FRA Publishes Three Technical Reports; RABIT, Ballast Stabilization, 3D Scanning Method for Crossties

Written by Jennifer McLawhorn, Managing Editor
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) published three technical reports on RABIT system, ballast stabilization, and using a handheld scanner to scan the surface of crossties.

A technical report titled “Ballast Fouling Measurement Tool – Phase II” from Charles P. Oden, Carlton L. Ho, and Aaron J. Rubin covers the second year of a research project involving the Radar Ballast Inspection Tool (RABIT). The study showed that non-invasive methods can measure moisture and ballast fouling. 

Mitigation of Differential Movement at Railway Transitions for U.S. High-Speed Passenger Rail and Joint Passenger/Freight Corridors” from Erol Tutumluer, Debakanta Mishra, James H. Hyslip, Huseyin Boler, and Wenting Hou looked at three “problematic bridge approaches near Chester, PA, along Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor line and another two on the N-Line mainline of Norfolk Southern near Ingleside, WV.” Analysis showed the ballast layer was the primary source of differential movement due to excessive vibrations within the layer. Gaps underneath crossties were tied to high-impact loads on the ballast. Three applied rehabilitation techniques are: “(1) polyurethane grout injection and stabilization of existing ballast, (2) use of stone-blowing to add a thin layer of clean stone to the ballast under tie, and finally, (3) use of under tie pads to decrease pressure on the ballast and hence improve seating and load transfer beneath the tie.”

A 3D Scanning Method to Measure Concrete Crosstie Geometry” from Cameron Stuart, Robert J. Peterman, and B. Terry Beck “documents the measurement of 3D geometrical properties associated with prestressed concrete railroad ties.” The research was supposed by the FRA at Kansas State University in order to improve crosstie design and performance.

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