Field Validation of Polyurethane Technology in Remediating Rail Substructure and Enhancing Rail Freight Capacity

Railways are an important component of a multi-modal freight transport network that present a great potential for expansion. Ballast is a crucial material for structural support of rail tracks and trains and provides fast drainage during precipitation. The structural integrity of seriously fouled ballast (i.e., containing fine particles) and problematic railway elements can be compromised leading to track instability and ultimately, train derailments. Because of this serious consequence, costly maintenance activities, such as ballast maintenance and track reconstruction, are routinely performed by railroads, especially on tracks serving the heavy axle loads. Despite numerous advancements in maintenance technology within the rail industry, railroads annually invest billions of dollars in maintenance activities, thus new cost-effective and less intrusive methods must be adopted. An application of polyurethane void filling and particle bonding technology has been developed and has shown in the laboratory the promise to mitigate impacts of ballast fouling and rail substructure deterioration and to enhance rail freight capacity. However, its effectiveness in remediating rail substructure has not been evaluated rigorously in the field. Field validation of this technology has significant potential to transform track-substructure maintenance activities and efficiencies.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $99841.00
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Department of Transportation

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology
    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    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:

    Edil, Tuncer

  • Start Date: 20130701
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20161231
  • Source Data: RiP Project 38286

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01547320
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Center for Freight and Infrastructure Research and Education (CFIRE)
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT12-G-UTC19
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Dec 6 2014 1:00AM