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Longitudinal Resistance Modeling for Frozen Ballast

Document Series
Research Results
Federal Railroad Administration
Report Number
RR 22-22
Subject Track
Longitudinal resistance, rail break, rail neutral temperature, frozen ballast

On behalf of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Transportation Technology Center, Inc. (TTCI) developed a “proof-of-concept” finite element (FE) longitudinal resistance model to simulate a rail break based on historical data. Longitudinal track resistance (fo) is an important parameter for rail break repairs to re-establish the rail neutral temperature (RNT) [1]. If an incorrect fo is used, the resulting RNT could be too high, which increases the risk of additional rail breaks. Conversely, if it is too low, this increases the risk of the track buckling. This project was undertaken to better define fo on frozen ballast due to the lack of sufficient data for this condition. Researchers developed an FE model to support much-needed field testing in the future. Research was conducted between Fall 2021 and Spring 2022.

Last updated: Friday, September 23, 2022