Temporal Variation of Ground-Borne Vibrations in Ballasted High-Speed Railway Embankments

  • M. Roshan Khan
  • Satyanarayana Murty DasakaEmail author
Technical Paper


The ascending requirement of railway passengers for fast transit to distant stations has led to the development of high-speed railway networks. Faster and longer trains with heavy axle loads are in operation, inducing stronger ground vibrations in the supporting railway infrastructure. The conventional design of railway track structures are based on the maximum displacements safely allowed in the track under the expected railway loads. However, the vibrations generated in the tracks due to railway operations should also be of concern. This study characterizes the peak particle velocities (PPVs) generated in the component strata of a ballasted railway embankment during high-speed train transit within 160 to 200 km/h. The transient response of each strata is characterized for transit of wheel load in the vibration influence zone, and temporal variation of PPVs have been logged for the transit of wheel load through a distance of 30 m on the railway track. The results from the present study indicate that railway track embankments are subject to strong ground motions during high-speed train transit, which will lead to accelerated degradation of the track structure. Ground vibrations are remnant in the railway embankment, even after passage of train wheels to farther distances. Deployment of vibration mitigation measures are recommended in sensitive locations proximate to railway lines. The particle velocities quantified in this study can be utilized by railway design authorities for estimating ground-borne railway vibrations under multiple train wheel configurations, based on the axle spacing, bogie spacing and the depth of the track under consideration.


High-speed railways Railway embankment Ground vibrations Ballasted railway tracks Peak particle velocities 



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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology BombayMumbaiIndia

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