Transport of Fraccing Sand - Impact of Increasing Freight Loads on Rail Infrastructure

The impact of increasing freight loads on the life cycle of a railway track is unknown without proper investigation, characterization, and modeling of rail substructure, primarily railway ballast. Because demand for railway freight transportation is increasing - especially for rail infrastructure associated with the mining, processing, and transport of fraccing sand - the challenge to all research and maintenance entities is to test and develop new cost-effective methods for railway maintenance and upgrade. With these needs in mind, the GeoEngineering program at the University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison has invested dedicated researchers to railway industry research, developed laboratory testing equipment specifically designed for railway ballast, developed a rail maintenance model titled WiscRail™ for rail substructure design and maintenance, and established a foundation for contributing to the contemporary and future railway industry knowledge base. This proposal specifically seeks to apply these developed technologies to the rail engineering and maintenance profession through assessment of the capacity of existing rail infrastructure in Wisconsin to handle fraccing sands and other heavy loads by use of the WiscRail™ maintenance model.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Contract Numbers:


    CFIRE 07-10

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    University Transportation Centers Program
    1200 New Jersey Avenue
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Wisconsin, Madison

    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
    1415 Engineering Drive
    Madison, WI  United States  53706
  • Principal Investigators:

    Tinjum, James

  • Start Date: 20120901
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20130930
  • Source Data: RiP Project 34257

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01481786
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Center for Freight and Infrastructure Research and Education (CFIRE)
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT06-G-0020, CFIRE 07-10
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: May 22 2013 1:00AM