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Validation of a Numerical Model (Adytrack) Against Existing Simulation Tools and Field Measurements


Predicting the structural performance of railroad structures is a constant challenge. Numerical models are the most common technique, lately, to predict the performance of many mechanical structures including railroad trackbeds. This paper presents a detailed quantitative validation of a recently developed numerical model, known as the ADYTrack, for the structural performance analysis of railroad trackbeds. The results of the ADYTrack model were compared to the results of the commercial software, other well-known track simulation tools, and the reported measurements of full-scale field tests. A railroad trackbed model using the ADYTrack predicted the vertical displacements and stresses along the depth below the wheel load that produced a maximum percentage difference of around 5% compared to the results produced in an identical model using ANSYS software. Furthermore, when compared with the field measurements and other models’ predictions, the predictions of the ADYTrack’s trackbed models showed a maximum percentage difference of less than 10% for the vertical stress profile along the depth below the wheel load. These findings indicated that the finite element model, ADYTrack, can be a great numerical tool to analyze the performances of railroad tracks with acceptable accuracy and precision.

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This paper is supported by the U.S. Department of Transportation through the University Transportation Centers Program. The findings and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors only and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsors.

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Correspondence to Ying Huang.

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Arshid, A., Huang, Y., Lu, P. et al. Validation of a Numerical Model (Adytrack) Against Existing Simulation Tools and Field Measurements. Int J Civ Eng (2021).

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  • Railroad trackbed
  • Random finite element analysis
  • Numerical simulations
  • Substructure performance