Mitigation of railway induced ground vibration by heavy masses next to the track

A Dijckmans, James Jiang, P Coulier, M Toward, David Thompson , G Degrande, G Lombaert

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    The effectiveness of heavy masses next to the track as a measure for the reduction of railway induced ground vibration is investigated by means of numerical simulations. It is assumed that the heavy masses are placed in a continuous row along the track forming a wall. Such a continuous wall could be built as a gabion wall and also used as a noise barrier. Since the performance of mitigation measures on the transmission path strongly depends on local ground conditions, a parametric study is performed for a range of possible designs in a set of different ground types. A two-and-a-half dimensional coupled finite element–boundary element methodology is used, assuming that the geometry of the problem is uniform in the direction along the track. It is found that the heavy masses start to be effective above the mass–spring resonance frequency which is determined by the dynamic stiffness of the soil and the mass of the wall. At frequencies above this resonance frequency, masses at the soil׳s surface hinder the propagation of surface waves. It is therefore beneficial to make the footprint of the masses as large and stiff as possible. For homogeneous soil conditions, the effectiveness is nearly independent of the distance behind the wall. In the case of a layered soil with a soft top layer, the vibration reduction strongly decreases with increasing distance from the wall.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)158-170
    JournalSoil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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