Ground vibration induced by high speed trains on an embankment with pile-board foundation: Modelling and validation with in situ tests

Li Wang, Ping Wang, Kai Wei*, Rolf Dollevoet, Zili Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


To investigate the train-induced ground vibration, an explicit time-domain, three dimensional (3D) finite element (FE) model is developed. The train, track, embankment, pile-board structure and nearby ground soils are all fully coupled in this model. The complex geometries involving the track components and pile-board structure are all modelled in detail, which makes the simulation of wave propagation more realistic from the train to the ground. The model is validated with in situ tests data collected in the Beijing-Shanghai high speed railway line. Good agreements have been achieved between the numerical results and experimental results both in time domain and frequency domain. The proposed model is thus capable of reproducing the dynamic ground response induced by a typical high speed train. Soil responses induced by different number of vehicles are compared. With more vehicles, the spectral peaks of soil responses are more prominent at the integral multiples of the vehicle passing frequency. Too few vehicles will not bring about such phenomenon, thus sufficient number of vehicles should be included in a train to properly model train-induced ground vibration. With the proposed model, the influence of the pile-board foundation on the ground vibration is investigated. It is found that the pile-board foundation can significantly attenuate the low frequency ground vibration. The attenuation of the ground vibration as a function of distance from the track is simulated and the influential factors to the local vibration amplification are investigated. It is found that soil Young's modulus and soil impedance contrast are the two main factors influential to the local vibration amplification. The softer the natural soil, the larger the amplification. The larger soil impedance contrast makes the amplification more obvious. The soil stratification and geometric discontinuity at ground surface are not the main cause of the local vibration amplification in this work.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100734
Number of pages16
JournalTransportation Geotechnics
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Finite element model
  • Ground vibration
  • High speed railway
  • Local vibration amplification
  • Pile-board structure
  • Soft soil


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