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Fouled Ballast Definitions and Parameters

[+] Author Affiliations
Radim Bruzek

ENSCO, Inc., Springfield, VA

Timothy D. Stark, Stephen T. Wilk

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL

Hugh B. Thompson, II

Federal Railroad Administration, Washington, DC

Theodore R. Sussmann, Jr.

Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, Cambridge, MA

Paper No. JRC2016-5725, pp. V001T01A007; 7 pages
  • 2016 Joint Rail Conference
  • 2016 Joint Rail Conference
  • Columbia, South Carolina, USA, April 12–15, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: Rail Transportation Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4967-5
  • Copyright © 2016 by ASME


Ballast fouling is a problematic track condition that can lead to inadequate ballast performance. Prioritizing remediation of fouled ballast sites is difficult because no relationship between ballast fouling and track performance exists and fouled ballast performance depends on the amount, grain-size, type, plasticity, and moisture content of the fouling material. This paper provides results of an international industry survey on fouled ballast definitions, parameters, limits/standards, and laboratory test results to aid development of a procedure for quantitatively assessing ballast fouling and assessing the ability to: transmit applied train loads to the subgrade, allow drainage, and maintain proper track geometry as required under §213.103.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME



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