Experimental and numerical study on lateral resistance of frictional sleeper with arrowhead groove

Guoqing Jing, Wenli Jia, Xinyu Wang, Valeri Markine, Roar Nålsund, Yunlong Guo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
10 Downloads (Pure)


To enhance the stability of continuous welded rail (CWR) tracks, frictional sleepers have been developed. The frictional sleepers are new types of sleepers with grooves on the bottom, and different bottom grooves improve lateral resistances at different magnitudes. In this study, single sleeper push test (SSPT) and its model with discrete element method (DEM) were carried out to confirm how much arrowhead groove frictional (AGF) sleeper increases the lateral resistance of ballasted track. The SSPTs were performed to confirm the lateral resistance results, and also to validate and calibrate the DEM models. With the validated models, the groove factors influencing the lateral resistances were studied, including groove sizes (depth, width), arrowhead groove direction and groove numbers. The reason of lateral resistance improvement was studied at mesoscopic level, including the ballast-sleeper contact numbers and contact force chains. Results show that applying the AGF sleeper is able to improve lateral resistance by 7–24%, and it can provide enough lateral resistance after reducing ballast shoulder width from 500 mm to 300 mm. The AGF sleeper can improve the sleeper-ballast interaction by increasing sleeper-ballast contact number. The study is helpful for frictional sleeper design, further improving track stability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100638
Number of pages11
JournalTransportation Geotechnics
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • AGF sleeper
  • Arrowhead groove
  • Discrete element method
  • Lateral resistance


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