Sleeper Contact Modelling in Asphalt Overlayment Trackbeds

P. Jørgensen, R.N.H. Perslev, E. Levenberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

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This study targeted the mechanics of asphalt overlayment trackbeds – a ballastless track type that mandates special wide-base sleepers equipped with a geotextile at the bottom. The objective was to develop an analytical model for quantifying how a geotextile and its compressibility properties influence the contact stress distribution at the sleeper-geotextile-asphalt interface. A nonlinear-hardening Winkler spring-bed was utilised to represent a geotextile, a rigid beam was utilised to represent a sleeper, and the pavement system was treated as an elastic half-space. Based on a parametric investigation of the new model it is concluded that the insertion of a geotextile at the sleeper-asphalt interface considerably affects the vertical stress distribution. The presence of a geotextile is shown to produce a more uniform stress distribution and eliminate excessively high contact stresses that would have developed near the sleeper perimeter. It is also shown that geotextile compression adds extra vertical flexibility to the track system with an order of magnitude similar to that of common rail pads. The developed model can handle realistic geotextile compressibility properties as well as any sleeper geometry; its analytical nature provides relative ease of replication for subsequent design and analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 11th International Conference on the Bearing Capacity of Roads, Railways and Airfields
Number of pages8
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Publication date2022
ISBN (Electronic)9781003222910
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event11th International Conference on the Bearing Capacity of Roads, Railways, and Airfields - Trondheim, Norway
Duration: 28 Jun 202230 Jun 2022
Conference number: 11


Conference11th International Conference on the Bearing Capacity of Roads, Railways, and Airfields


  • Ballastless asphalt tracks
  • Geotextile
  • Nonlinear Winkler spring-bed
  • Analytical modelling


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