Quantifying the impact of stiffness distributions on the dynamic behaviour of railway transition zones

Avni Jain*, Yuriy Marykovskiy, Andrei V. Metrikine, Karel N. van Dalen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Railway transition zones (RTZs) are regions where abrupt track stiffness changes occur that may lead to dynamic amplifications and subsequent track deterioration. The design challenges for these zones arise due to variations in material properties in both the depth (trackbed layers composed of different materials) and longitudinal directions of the track, as well as temporal variations in mechanical properties of materials due to several external factors over the operational period. This research aims to investigate the effects of these variations in material properties (i.e., of the resulting stiffness distributions in vertical and longitudinal directions) on the behaviour of RTZs, assess from this perspective the performance of a novel transition structure called the SHIELD, and establish a methodology for designing a robust solution to mitigate the dynamic amplifications in these zones. Results indicate that stiffness variations in both vertical and longitudinal directions significantly influence the dynamic behaviour of the RTZs. The study also suggests a permissible range of stiffness ratios to control the amplification of strain energy in the most critical components of RTZs, both in the initial state as well as during the operational phase (where material properties may vary over time). Moreover, the proposed methodology offers a valuable tool for the design and evaluation of RTZs and is applicable to various transition types and a broad spectrum of material properties.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101211
Number of pages12
JournalTransportation Geotechnics
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • Railway transition zones
  • Dynamic amplifications
  • Material properties
  • Design limits
  • Stiffness ratios
  • Polynomial chaos expansion


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