USA Banner

Official US Government Icon

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure Site Icon

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Unsaturated Characteristics of Fouled Ballast to Support In Situ Identification of Fouling Using Ground Penetrating Radar – Phase I

Document Series
Technical Reports
Federal Railroad Administration
Report Number
Subject Track
Ballast stability detection technology, suction water characteristic curves, SWCC, large-scale direct shear, LSDS, ballast, fouling, track

This research established a protocol for sample preparation and testing between a large suction water characteristic curve (SWCC) device and a large-scale direct shear (LSDS) device using clean ballast and fouling material collected from mainline track. This allowed for comparisons of strength and volumetric behavior at volumetric water contents from the SWCCs. Preliminary results indicate the characteristics of the fouling material control the unsaturated characteristics of fouled ballast. Meaningful changes in peak stress were observed at different volumetric water contents in 5 percent fouled specimens, where the water contents were bound by the SWCC measurements.

Last updated: Monday, February 14, 2022