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Water buildup/ponding issue between rail tracks

Water buildup/ponding issue between rail tracks

Water buildup/ponding issue between rail tracks

Has anyone encountered the issue of water buildup/ponding between rail tracks?

Refer to image below, where the area between the rail tracks is a flat surface and thus prone to water ponding (water shown in blue):

If so, how did you safely and quickly drain the water build-up?

RE: Water buildup/ponding issue between rail tracks

Shouldn't the ballast have enough voids to drain?

My glass has a v/c ratio of 0.5

Maybe the tyranny of Murphy is the penalty for hubris. - http://xkcd.com/319/

RE: Water buildup/ponding issue between rail tracks

assume this is in an urban setting with pavement and no ballast, build up the pavement higher (between the tracks) to reduce the amount of ponding - or install a storm drain system between the tracks

RE: Water buildup/ponding issue between rail tracks

Your drawing is incorrect. The ballast should extend on either side and should not be higher than the tracks. Refer to the following link, pages 3.2 and 3.3:


RE: Water buildup/ponding issue between rail tracks

Ballast should be of a sufficiently coarse gradation and rough texture that water flows through to the subballast below. This mitigates the drainage/ponding issue at the surface. The subballast below is shown crowned and sloped at 1:40 (~2%), so that runoff flows down and off the roadway prism toward the drainage ditches or toes of slope.

In stations or other areas where ballast is present but the crowning can't be done, perforated pipe with geotextile is typically used to aid drainage.

Chris Enright
PE, Colorado
Roads and Trains

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