Currently, the Design Neutral Temperature (DNT) is used to maintain track in a stable condition (neither buckling nor breaking) throughout the year, with the DNT based on the ambient temperature range of the region. However, other issues such as dynamic effects and different types of track construction are not included in DNT selection. This proposed study intends to find a more comprehensive method of selecting DNT including consideration of all influential aspects of the problem.
Hence the main objectives of this study are as follows:
1) Carry out an extensive review of relevant literature and existing standards on railway track lateral resistance. Areas of focus are lateral resistance measurement methods, how the resistance changes, and related data regarding Australian railway conditions.
2) Research and critically evaluate different lateral resistance testing methods currently being implemented by railway networks worldwide. Through comparison, include a review of the advantages and disadvantages of each method.
3) Ways to increase the lateral strength of railway tracks through ballast shoulder bonding and introducing more bearing strength of sleepers will be explored.
4) Develop an online track stability tool incorporating lateral track resistance (LTR) data in Australian railway conditions with other track parameters such as rail temperature, current rail neutral temperature (RNT), Design Neutral Temperature (DNT), etc. The MATLAB program can be used to enhance the monitoring tool.