Neoloy® Geocells Increase Strength and Prevent Deformation for Railway Embankments in the United Kingdom

Neoloy Geocells can be used to reinforce and stabilize railway embankments at the foot of soft subgrade or at the middle /top layers of the railway embankment itself.

The Neoloy Geocell cellular confinement system can be used to reinforce and stabilize railway embankments at the foot of soft subgrade or at the middle / top layers of the railway embankment itself. In any configuration, Neoloy increases strength and prevents deformation in the foundation. Typically applications include roads, rails and other construction projects with variable grades. Studies have shown that Neoloy Geocells cut vertical deformation and lateral displacement by more than 50%.

Testing Strength of Rail Embankments

Tests at Columbia University described research on loading tests of model rail embankments. The tests measured the strength and deformation behavior of Neoloy Geocell in six different embankment configurations.

The results showed that Neoloy was very effective in increasing strength and preventing deformation in the embankment:

  • Neoloy Geocells restricted vertical displacement under cyclical loading
  • Little displacement occurred in the last 45,000 cycles, indicating stiffening and stabilization of the railway ballast
  • Neoloy Geocells restricted lateral displacement
  • Neoloy Geocells were stable under controlled cyclic loading within the stress amplitude of many transportation applications (roadways, train, ballast, etc.)

The researchers concluded that “The confinement mechanism of reinforcement was very effective making the railway ballast/Neoloy composite very stiff, strong and durable…. Neoloy Geocells could be an excellent tool in roadway subgrades, railroad ballasts, and embankment construction”.

Click here to read more about the research

Click here to read case studies


  • Lower aggregate attrition – stiff and strong confinement of ballast reduces deformation.
  • Reduce lateral displacement and vertical settlement by more than 50%.
  • Maintain track geometry – from Neoloy high stiffness, dimensional stability and low creep under loading.
  • Reduce layer thickness – reduce sub-ballast layer and use locally available soils for sub-ballast.
  • More effective than geogrids – does not require high grade aggregate and has 3D zone of influence.
  • Easy and fast deployment – all-weather, easy and fast installation minimizes downtime.
  • Improved performance – reduce vibrations, track deflection, and smooth transitions between areas of differing subgrades.
  • Improved rolling stock performance – up to 40% heavier loads and 30% faster speeds over the same track.
  • Operating expenses – stabilized rails reduce vibration and, wear and tear on rolling stock (and aggregate).
  • Sustainable – use of marginal infill preserves quarry resources, uses local soils, lowers hauling expenses.
  • Reduce maintenance – extend maintenance surfacing cycles.
  • Cost effective installation – saves construction time, equipment and aggregate.
  • Low total cost of ownership – Neoloy durability that extends track maintenance periods by >3x (perpetual superstructure).

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