Properties of Fouled Recycled Ballast

A thorough understanding of railroad ballast drainage and strength properties is required for developing ballast specifications. While the properties of new ballast meeting American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA) specifications have been investigated, as much as 70 percent of the ballast applied to track during maintenance activities is recycled ballast. This ballast and a great deal of ballast currently in service under track has experienced degradation due to particle breakdown and rounding. The properties of recycled or degraded ballast have not been thoroughly examined; however it is believed that this ballast will not perform as well as new ballast, particularly when fouled. Furthermore, non-invasive detection of fouled ballast is often difficult in the field. The family of geophysical technologies has promise for enabling such detection. Electrical conductivity is one of these technologies that has not been thoroughly explored for this function. The change in electrical conductivity of ballast as it becomes fouled will be investigated. It is hypothesized that the properties of recycled ballast from 3-5 sources be characterized with regard to their degree of degradation. The initial work on the first source of ballast was undertaken as a part of Phase 1. Strength, permeability, and electrical conductivity tests will be conducted on clean and fouled samples with the goal of relating the degree of fouling to reductions in the strength, drainage, and conductive properties of recycled ballast. The anticipated outcome is relationships


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

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

    University of Kansas, Lawrence

    Transportation Research Institute
    2117 Learned Hall, 1530 W 15th Street
    Lawrence, KS  United States  66045
  • Principal Investigators:

    Matamoros, Adolfo

    Glavinich, Tom

    Parsons, Robert

  • Start Date: 20120601
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20131231
  • Source Data: RiP Project 33528

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01483129
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Mid-America Transportation Center
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT12-G-UTC07
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Jun 5 2013 1:01AM