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railroad rail piling for embankment failures

railroad rail piling for embankment failures



RE: railroad rail piling for embankment failures


Talk to your geotechnical engineer to find out. Much depends on the specifics of the slide.

Mike Lambert

RE: railroad rail piling for embankment failures


RE: railroad rail piling for embankment failures

First, don't double and triple post.

Second, what are you asking? People have used piles to stabilize slopes and I have seen rails used to stabilize slopes. As i noted above, you need to talk about this with your geotechnical engineer. If you don't have a geotechnical engineer for the project you either need to get one or just go start sticking rails in the ground. It might work and it might not work, but no one here can design a fix for you.

Lastly, stop typing in all caps. It is impolite.

Mike Lambert

RE: railroad rail piling for embankment failures

if you do not have a geotech engineer, firstly you may try to find the optimum location to drive your pile. I would prefer at the lower slope based on the rule of thumb.
Secondly you may do a trial penetration up to the pile setting to ensure pile embedded in the hard layer.
Thirdly you may install in 3 diameter spacing. Lastly do not forget to coat the used rail road piles against corrosion.

RE: railroad rail piling for embankment failures

do you have a source for rail? There are very specific rules for repurposing rail. For example, there is no private secondary market for recycling.


ípapß gordo ainÆt no madre flaca!

RE: railroad rail piling for embankment failures

Here is a question. Since we don't do designs your project, stand back and look at the comments here. Which ones are from experienced engineers amd which ones are here to confuse you. I'd bet that used rails are so seldom used or maybe never used by experieced engineers that no usble answer will come from this site.

RE: railroad rail piling for embankment failures

The only places I have seen railroad rails used as soldier beams for retaining walls has been along the side of track beds where the railroad maintenance workers apparently threw them into place as "Band-Aids" for areas with some erosion or where other, old, deteriorating, timber walls are failing. If you tried to design these "soldier beams," you most likely would find that they are too small, too narrow, and too short.

This photo does not show rails but, instead, shows small beams that aren't much different from rails. I don't believe that the wall in the photo can perform as needed, especially with Cooper E-80 railroad surcharge loading.

RE: railroad rail piling for embankment failures

Yep, looks familiar to me.

I have seen similar installations along county and state roads in rural areas. In many cases three are no timbers, or at least none left after who knows how many years. Don't have any pictures handy, but I'll post some if I can find them.

These types of "fixes" can work and sometimes work for many years. The factor of safety is likely just barely above 1, but it works until it doesn't anymore. Then you can always just add more pieces of rail and maybe it will start working again.

While I don't like this type of "fix", I understand why they are used by some agencies. Just don't ask me to design it.

Mike Lambert

RE: railroad rail piling for embankment failures

Notice those section are set in concrete filled holes, possibly drilled with power pole auger.

RE: railroad rail piling for embankment failures

Yes. The drilling surprised me because the "wall" is near the top of a high, 1.4H:1V, heavily wooded slope where drilling is not possible without shutting down the tracks. Railroads have one set of rules for us common folks and another for themselves.

RE: railroad rail piling for embankment failures

More photos of bad, soldier beam, RR walls.

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