Use of Geosynthetics in Mitigating the Effects of Mud Pumping: A Railway Perspective
In Australia, where the major network of railways traverses along the coastal regions, millions of dollars are spent on track maintenance annually to mitigate track differential settlement. One of the recurring problems faced with ballasted tracks on estuarine soils is mud pumping. Mud pumping is a complex phenomenon involving the migration of fine soft subgrade particles into the coarser ballast/sub-ballast layer. The problem has been widely reported and is of interest among the railway engineers over the last couple of decades. The migration of fines causes excessive settlements and track degradation leading to track instability, thereby incurring excessive maintenance costs. The primary objective of this paper was to assess the existing remediation measures for mud pumping reported. The current mitigation techniques range from the in situ mixing of additives to the use of geosynthetics to separate the layers in a track structure. On the other hand, the use of geosynthetics has proven to act as a separator between the track layers; their effectiveness is highly dependent on the type of subgrade soil. The comprehensive study reveals the probable causes of mud pumping and a better understanding of the phenomenon.
KeywordsTrack maintenance Mud pumping Geosynthetics Triggers
This research was supported (partially) by the Australian Government through the Australian Research Council’s Linkage Projects funding scheme (project LP160101254).
- Aw ES (2007) Low cost monitoring system to diagnose problematic rail bed: case study at a mud pumping site. Doctor of Philosophy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USAGoogle Scholar
- Hudson A, Watson G, Le Pen L, Powrie W (2016) Remediation of mud pumping on a ballasted railway track. Paper presented at the 3rd international conference on transportation geotechnicsGoogle Scholar
- Hussaini SKK, Indraratna B, Vinod JS (2012) Performance of geosynthetically-reinforced rail ballast in direct shear conditions. Paper presented at the 11th Australia–New Zealand conference on geomechanics: ground engineering in a changing world, AustraliaGoogle Scholar
- Kunii D, Levenspiel O (2013) Fluidization engineering. ElsevierGoogle Scholar
- Voottipruex P, Roongthanee J (2003) Prevention of mud pumping in railway embankment. A case study from Baeng Pra-Pitsanuloke, Thailand. J KMITB 13(1):20–25Google Scholar
- Yoder EJ (1957) Pumping of highway and airfield pavements : technical paper. Retrieved from Purdue University, Lafayette, IndianaGoogle Scholar