The use of structural asphalt layers inside ballasted railway tracks is attractive because it can increase track bending stiffness. Therefore, for the first time, this paper investigates the long-term settlement characteristics of asphaltic track in the presence of a subgrade stiffness transition zone. Phased load cyclic compression laboratory tests are performed on a large-scale hybrid asphalt-ballast track, supported by subgrade with varying stiffness. It is found that an asphaltic layer acts as a bridge to shield the subgrade from high stresses. It is also found that the asphalt reduces track settlement, and is particularly effective when subgrade stiffness is low.