Rail Anchor Slip Force Testing

In recent decades, studies have focused on continuous welded rail (CWR) for its growing adoption as a replacement for jointed track. Key reasons include improved ride quality, increased rail and rolling stock fatigue life, and reduced track maintenance costs. However, the absence of joints introduces challenges such as thermal expansion-related track buckling in summer and tensile pull-apart failures in winter, often causing catastrophic derailments. Two significant safety-affecting failure modes are lateral stability loss (track buckling, shift, and radial breathing) and rail pull apart (rail break under high tensile forces). Buckled tracks in lateral and vertical planes can lead to vehicle derailments due to incompatibility with normal operating speeds. The lateral and longitudinal resistances play critical roles in ensuring the stability of a track and minimize the damage of the temperature stress in the rails. Several methods have been proposed to enhance both the lateral and longitudinal track resistances. These methods include (1) employing winged and framed ties, (2) modification on the shape of the tie bottom surface, (3) employing wider ties, and (4) using anchors. Installing rail anchors (clamps) between rails and ties can improve track stability by distributing the loads from rail into the ties, thereby improving longitudinal resistance. In this study, a series of full-scale railway track model tests will be conducted to examine the effect of rail anchors on the longitudinal resistance of tracks. Towards that goal, a series of full-scale model laboratory testing will be conducted to evaluate the longitudinal resistances of anchored rails with different anchor types, patterns, tightness, and conditions, and to investigate the life cycle of these rail anchors. A full-scale laboratory test setup will be designed and fabricated for this study. The acquired results will be used to identify conditions that can lead to a reduction in anchor slip resistance. This study will represent a preliminary step towards a comprehensive study on ballast bed anchored tracks.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $186130
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

    1201 W. University Dr
    Edinburg, TX  United States  78539

    MxV Rail

    350 Keeler Parkway
    Pueblo, CO  United States  81001
  • Managing Organizations:

    University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

    1201 W. University Dr
    Edinburg, TX  United States  78539
  • Project Managers:

    Stearns, Amy

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

    1201 W. University Dr
    Edinburg, TX  United States  78539
  • Principal Investigators:

    Rahmaninezhad, Mustapha

    Amjadian, Mohsen

    Fuentes, Arturo

    Tarawneh, Constantine

  • Start Date: 20230901
  • Expected Completion Date: 20240831
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01897745
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: University Transportation Center for Railway Safety
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3552348340
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Oct 28 2023 8:26PM