Behavior of railroads on shrink-swell soils
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2016 The Authors. Shrink-swell soils are characterized by significant volume expansions and contractions during wetting and drying processes, respectively. Railroads on shrink-swell soils are subjected to huge solicitations associated with the volume change of the soil. The highly permeable ballast layer exacerbates soil volume changes due to moisture variation, which generally lead to unacceptable uneven settlement. The mechanism behind the observed railroads problems on expansive soils, and the associated (possible) remedial solutions, are still unclear. A site in Texas has been chosen recently to study in detail the aforementioned problems. In this paper, the typical geomechanical problems associated with railroads on shrink-swell soils in Texas are discussed. We also presented the test site information and preliminary lab tests to obtain water retention curve of the site soils.