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RailMarket Reporter


Soft soils under track can lead to increased long-term maintenance requirements and costs. In soft soil environments, high impact areas subjected to heavy tonnage stresses such as bridge approaches and crossing diamonds are especially problematic. Conventional stabilization methods (i.e. geogrids, HMA) have traditionally been less than effective at reducing long-term maintenance.

The innovative GEOWEB® soil stabilization system has been helping railroads combat these problems economically for over 30 years. The GEOWEB® system's deep 3D soil confinement technology creates a high-stiffness foundation under track.

  • Unlike 2D planar solutions, the GEOWEB system confines aggregate, creating a stiffened slab that reduces vertical stresses, allowing for a reduction of the subballast layer cross section up to 50%.

  • Compared to Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA), the GEOWEB system installs 2-3 times faster, with less equipment, and at up to half the cost.

  • The system is quick to deploy and install, limiting track downtime.


Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) Bridge Approach

A prime example of the ability of the GEOWEB System to solve track challenges is a recent project with FEC. A portion of FECís track had been a high maintenance area for many years due to high impact loads from rail cars transitioning off of a concrete bridge abutment onto ballasted wood ties placed over soft subgrade with a history of pumping. A solution was required to eliminate the maintenance due to pumping of the soft subgrade. The GEOWEB system offered that solution.
"FEC installed the GEOWEB system on the western track extending from the bridge approach through the heavily travelled grade crossing. The area with the GEOWEB system has been subjected to 25 MGT this year with no deflection. The other end of the bridge without the GEOWEB system has settled over 2 inches and has been resurfaced twice."
- Charles Stone, Asst. Chief Engineer Design and Construction, FEC

"Estimated time to install the GEOWEB system was minimal. Since the location was pumping, we had to excavate and grade the sub base lower than normal. For this particular location, we completed the sub base preparation and installation of the GEOWEB material in approximately three hours. If hot mix asphalt had been used for the sub base, in proper lifts and thicknesses, it would have been an all-day process and at least twice as expensive. We would have required pavers, and additional compaction equipment."
-Houston Spears, PE, Project Manager, Gonzales & Sons Equipment

Historical Field Performance and AAR Test Credentials

Results of 30 years of rail industry use, and testing conducted at the AAR FAST High Tonnage Loop verify the GEOWEB system's effectiveness in improving load distribution and reducing vertical stresses reaching the subgrade for tracks subjected to heavy loads. The end result is a more durable subgrade that increases railway life by preventing long term settlement and consolidation. Read More

P: 800-548-3424

Visit us at AREMA-Booth#1513

Presto Geosystems
RailMarket Reporter

Information courtesy of Presto Geosystems

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