Live Load Effects of Railroads on Retaining Walls and Temporary Shoring

Highway construction activities sometimes require retaining walls and temporary shoring in close proximity to railroads. Railroad loading typically involves a large component of live load surcharge on retaining structures relative to most other situations. Current design guidelines for estimating live load effects can give widely varying predictions of loads and deflections. In the case of shored systems, the requirements for allowable deflections are quite strict. Thus, uncertainty in predicting live load effects coupled with the strict deflection limitations can lead to uneconomical designs. To address this problem, the research will comprise three major thrusts: monitoring instrumented cantilever and soldier pile/lagging test sections constructed by the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR), numerical modeling to extrapolate the results to other wall types and soil conditions, and evaluation/modification of existing design methodology. The field instrumentation program will measure lateral wall deflections, vertical settlement of the railroad track, and strains in the walls. Data will be collected during installation to evaluate system response to soil self-weight loading, when trains pass to measure live surcharge load effects, and cumulative deformations over time. A research report will document the findings and provide recommendations for improved design methods for more economical railroad underpass structures.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Texas Department of Transportation

    125 E. 11th Street
    Austin, TX  United States  78701-2483
  • Project Managers:

    Jensen, Darrin

  • Performing Organizations:

    Texas Transportation Institute

    Texas A&M University System
    3135 TAMU
    College Station, TX  United States  77843-3135
  • Principal Investigators:

    Aubeny, Charles

  • Start Date: 20120912
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20140831
  • Source Data: RiP Project 33846

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01568882
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Texas Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: 0-6786
  • Files: RiP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Jun 30 2015 1:01AM