Investigation of deformations of ballasted railway track during collapse using the Digital Image Correlation Method (DICM)

  • Szabolcs Szalai Szechenyi Istvan University, Gyor, Hungary
  • Balázs Eller Szechenyi Istvan University, Gyor, Hungary
  • Erika Juhász Szechenyi Istvan University, Gyor, Hungary
  • Majid Rad Movahedi Szechenyi Istvan University, Gyor, Hungary
  • Attila Németh Szechenyi Istvan University, Gyor, Hungary
  • Dániel Harrach Szechenyi Istvan University, Gyor, Hungary
  • Gusztáv Baranyai Szechenyi Istvan University, Gyor, Hungary
  • Szabolcs Fischer Szechenyi Istvan University, Gyor, Hungary
Keywords: GOM ATOS, GOM TRITOP, Ballasted railway tracks, Collapse, Deformation, Modeling, DIC, DICM


This paper summarizes the results of laboratory tests in which the authors investigated the effects of extremely high vertical load to a railway track segment. The segment consisted of a cut concrete sleeper (contact area: 290×390 mm) with a pair of direct-elastic rail fasteners; the sleeper pieces had a standard, full height; the structure had a typical 350 mm depth railway ballast, underneath approx. 200 mm sandy gravel supplementary layer. The whole assembly was built in a 2.00×2.20 m area wooden rack. The deformations due to the approx. 150 kN static concentrated vertical force were measured and recorded by Digital Image Correlation Method (DICM), ensuring the GOM ATOS technology. The 150 kN peak load meant 1326 kPa vertical stress at the sleeper-ballast interface. The 3D geometry was scanned before the loading and after the collapse. In this way, the comparison was able to be executed. The maximum vertical deformation was 115 mm. The DICM technique is a relatively new methodology in civil engineering; however, it has been applied for more than ten years in mechanical engineering. Therefore, the authors investigated the applicability of DICM in this field. As a result, the pre and the post-states were determined in 3D. The displacement of the ballast particles was able to be defined with the possibility of drawing the displacement trajectories of given points. The DICM can be a valuable methodology in railway engineering, e.g., laboratory tests and field test applications.


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How to Cite
Szalai, S., Eller, B., Juhász, E., Movahedi, M. R., Németh, A., Harrach, D., Baranyai, G., & Fischer, S. (2022). Investigation of deformations of ballasted railway track during collapse using the Digital Image Correlation Method (DICM). Reports in Mechanical Engineering, 3(1), 168-191.