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The paper discusses the use of geotextiles for improving the performance of a railway track on weak formations. The findings of a laboratory experimental investigations are discussed.
In the maintenance of the permanent way, with respect to the ballast and soil interface several problems are encountered like disturbance of the top rail level, ballast puncture, choking of ballast and loss of drainage under repeated traffic load. To overcome these problems, a solution can be provided by providing a layer of geotextiles at the interface of formation and ballast over a cushion of coarse sand blanket. An experimental study as to how the introduction of geotextile arrests the puncturing of ballast in the soil formation, choking of ballast, foundation settlement and effect improvement of drainage was attempted by the authors in the laboratory by simulating railway track conditions. The experiments conducted reveal that application of geotextiles can be used to improve the fanctioning of a railway track over weak soil formation.