Neoloy® Geocells Increase Bearing Capacity of Railway Embankments on Soft Soils by 4-6x

Stabilization of embankments on soft subgrade in railway construction with Neoloy Geocells is simple to build and more cost effective than alternatives

Challenge of Railway Embankments

The construction of embankments for railways over poor subgrade is a frequent problem. Stability is a concern for safety and to prevent settlement of the railway track superstructure. Railway embankment construction often uses deep foundations such as vibro stone columns, piles and soil replacement, but these solutions are expensive. Railway professionals need more economical solutions.

Neoloy Solution for Railway Embankments

Geocells are a proven soil reinforcement method that is strong and cost-effective soil and simple to construct. railway embankments. The strongest, stiffest and most creep resistant geocell is the Neoloy Geocell from PRS – the geocell of choice amongst railroad engineers. Railway embankment stabilization with Neoloy Geocells increases soil bearing capacity strength by 4-6x. Extensive research and field results showed that Neoloy Geocell reinforcement increased stiffness of railway embankments by 164% and prevented deformation of both the foundation and surface.

Testing Strength of Railway Embankments

Experimental, analytical and project case studies of railway and other embankments have demonstrated that Neoloy Geocells reduced vertical deformation and lateral displacement as follows:

  • Neoloy Geocells restricted vertical displacement by up to 72% under cyclical loading
  • Neoloy Geocells restricted lateral displacement by up to 60%
  • Little displacement occurred in the last 45,000 cycles, indicating stiffening and stabilization of the railway ballast

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 see case studies using Neoloy railway construction and railway embankments stabilization.

Click here to read more about the research

Benefits for Railway Embankment Construction

  • 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).