Railway Subgrade Performance after Repeated Flooding – Large-scale Laboratory Testing

M. Menan Hasnayn, W. John Mccarter, Peter K. Woodward, David P. Connolly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)


A rail track system comprises a number of components and, in order to analyse and predict track behaviour, it is essential to understand the function of each component as each will have a major influence on overall track performance. Historically, rail track substructure, particularly the subgrade, has been given less attention than the superstructure despite its importance in track design. This paper presents a full-scale experimental investigation to study the behaviour of subgrade in both saturated and unsaturated conditions, and how this behaviour changes with soil suction. Further, the investigation also studies the role of sand-blanketing during and after repeated flooding events. The results show that as soil suction reduces, flooding results in a continual reduction in both soil stiffness and track stiffness. It is also shown that the introduction of a sand-blanket has limited effectiveness as a drainage material, particularly after prolonged and repeated flooding.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100329
JournalTransportation Geotechnics
Early online date4 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • Full-scale railway testing
  • Rail track settlement
  • Railroad flooding
  • Sand-blanket
  • Saturation
  • Soil suction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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