Analysis of track and soil behaviour at transition zones

Case study near Gouda Goverwelle

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The Dutch rail network is one of the busiest in the world. Structural, partly preventative, maintenance of the rail infrastructure is essential to ensure that such a busy network remains safe and free of faults. A substantial amount of position maintenance is currently necessary for the upkeep of the Dutch rail network and, in comparison with neighbouring countries, considerable wear and tear is apparent on the rails and rail joints. The soft subsoil provides a plausible explanation for this, particularly in the western part of The Netherlands. The consequences of this situation are relatively large amounts of position maintenance, especially on transitions between embankments and engineering structures, and a relatively large number position maintenance of related to faults, particularly where switches are located. Delft Cluster investigates the impact of the dynamic behaviour of the subsurface on degradation and the associated position maintenance. The research mainly focuses on specific components of the rail network, namely transition zones and switches. In the research plan ‘Impact of Dynamic Subsurface on Transitions and Switches’ dated 18 December 2006, the research was described in greater detail. Part of the research is to conduct field tests to analyze possible failure mechanisms in track and subsoil. A research site was selected near Gouda Goverwelle in the western part of the Netherlands. In 2008 and 2009 field measurements have been performed at a transition zone and at a switch. The target of this report is the interpretation and conclusions from all field measurements at the Railway Transition Zone (RTZ) of a culvert near Gouda Goverwelle.