SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 26 February 2018

Large-Scale Testing Box: A Tool to Evaluate the Structural Performance of Railway Tracks


Ballasted railway tracks are regarded as a complex infrastructure composed of very distinct elements made from various materials. It is thus essential to understand the mechanical performance of the group of components as a whole section, particularly when developing innovative components or solutions to analyze their effect on the global track. However, traditional laboratory tests commonly consider each element separately or are based on simplification, while facilities reproducing real track sections, despite their ability to simulate real conditions, provide limited versatility to study different solutions for track sections in a short time and with low costs. A large-scale testing box in a laboratory could provide a useful tool to understand, in a cost and time-efficient way, the mechanical response of the whole track section, while also evaluating the effect of each element on the behavior of the system under full-scale conditions and analyzing different configurations in the search for track optimization. In this context, the present paper set out to determine the mechanical behavior of various configurations used for global track sections using a testing box, with a particular focus on the effect of innovative elastic components. The results indicate that at least when an appropriate procedure is applied, box tests are sufficiently sensitive to evaluate the effect of various design factors on global track behavior, depending on the section configuration and properties to be analyzed.

Author Information

Sol-Sánchez, Miguel
University of Granada, Laboratory of Construction Engineering, ES
Moreno-Navarro, Fernando
University of Granada, Laboratory of Construction Engineering, ES
Carmen Rubio-Gámez, M.
University of Granada, Laboratory of Construction Engineering, ES
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Developed by Committee: D18
Pages: 191–207
DOI: 10.1520/STP160520170138
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-7656-0
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-7655-3