Comparison and evaluation of railway subgrade quality detection methods

Ru Song Nie, Wu Ming Leng, Qi Yang, Yohchia F. Chen, Fang Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Subgrade is a critical component of railway systems since it provides a stable platform for the track substructure. The implementation of quality assurance methods is very important during the construction of a new railway subgrade and in monitoring the working performance of operating railways. There are several indicators available to measure the compaction and mechanical performance of a completed subgrade system, including compaction degree (K), porosity (n), modulus of subgrade reaction (K30), basic bearing capacity (σ0), strain moduli (Ev), dynamic modulus of deformation (Evd), and light dynamic penetration (N10). The objective of this research was to compare and evaluate the frequently used engineering methods in order to select the important and reliable indicators of field parameters. Four soil models with different degree of compaction were considered in the common laboratory tests and detection methods in China to determine the construction quality. The implementation and test results of these methods were analyzed and compared. The study results indicate that K correlates with n linearly. There is also a good correlation among K30, Ev, and Evd. As a recommendation, K is considered as the controlling indicator for compaction performance, and Ev2 and Evd are considered as the controlling indicators for railway subgrade stiffness evaluation. The bearing capacity or strength indicators may be added to the quality detection work in heavy-haul railway construction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)356-368
Number of pages13
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part F: Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering


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