Optimising soil stiffness on high speed rail lines to prevent vibration

Kaitai Dong, Omar Laghrouche, David P. Connolly, Peter K. Woodward, Pedro Alves Costa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The fast movement associated with high speed trains can cause significant dynamic effects within the supporting railway track structure. The speed at which maximum dynamic response occurs is known as the 'critical velocity' and is undesirable because large rail vibrations are generated when travelling close to it. These vibrations can cause a safety concern, and also propagate to the free-field where they disturb nearby buildings. A method to minimise these vibrations is to stiffen the soil directly below the track either via soil replacement or soil improvement, however both options are expensive. Their cost can be reduced though if either the depth or stiffness magnitude of the replacement is optimised. Therefore this work develops a track-ground model using the thin-layer method, which is capable of assessing the effect of different combinations of soil improvement on track vibration levels. It is shown that if improvement is carefully designed, performance can be maximised for minimum cost. Similarly, if improvement is poorly chosen, it can result in marginal improvement, and in some cases even amplify track vibration

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 26th International Congress on Sound and Vibration
PublisherCanadian Acoustical Association
ISBN (Electronic)9781999181000
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event26th International Congress on Sound and Vibration 2019 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: 7 Jul 201911 Jul 2019


Conference26th International Congress on Sound and Vibration 2019
Abbreviated titleICSV 2019


  • Railway vibration
  • Soil stiffening
  • Thin-layer element method

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


Dive into the research topics of 'Optimising soil stiffness on high speed rail lines to prevent vibration'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this