Analysing the effect of rainfall on railway embankments using fragility curves

Cormac Reale, Kenneth Gavin, Karlo Martinovic

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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Many railway embankments across Europe were constructed over 150 years ago. These embankments were not subject to rigorous design practice but instead were crudely constructed using end tipping techniques. As a result, the majority of these embankments are overly steep and far in excess of the design angles recommended in Eurocode 7. Over recent years, increased incidence of failure has been witnessed on these slopes following periods of prolonged or intense precipitation. This paper develops fragility curves to investigate how sensitive these steep slopes are to shallow translational failure when subjected to prolonged or abnormally intense rainfall. Rainfall intensity and condition are both considered for a range of slope angles. The significance of the findings are discussed in the context of transport slope asset management and risk assessment. The approach is a logical expansion on probabilistic slope stability analysis and could be used to interpret how vulnerable the transport network is to changing climatic condition.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 7th Transportation Research Arena 2018
Subtitle of host publicationVienna, Austria
Place of PublicationVienna
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2018
EventTransport Research Arena 2018: A digital era for transport - Vienna, Austria
Duration: 16 Apr 201819 Apr 2018
Conference number: 7


ConferenceTransport Research Arena 2018
Abbreviated titleTRA2018
Internet address


  • Slope Stability
  • Rainfall-Induced Failure
  • Embankments
  • Vulnerability
  • Probability of Failure


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