The effect of embankment on high speed rail ground vibrations

Bryan Olivier, David P. Connolly, Pedro Alves Costa, Georges Kouroussis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents the numerical prediction of ground vibration levels on embankmented high speed rail lines. First, a campaign of field tests is described, focused on the three-dimensional (3D) monitoring of ground vibration on at-grade and embankmented tracks. Next, a finite element (FE) model is developed to study the detailed earthwork geometries. The model is validated and then used to investigate the effect of embankment stiffness on ground vibration levels both within and at distance from the track-embankment structure. It is found that ground vibration levels are sensitive to embankment stiffness, with stiffer embankments resulting in greatly reduced vibration levels. Further, it is found that in general, well constructed embankmented tracks generate lower levels of ground vibration in comparison to at-grade lines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-246
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Rail Transportation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sept 2016


  • critical speed
  • environmental impact assessment
  • High speed rail
  • railway ground vibrations
  • track embankment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Transportation


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