Geomechanical Modelling of Railroad Ballast: A Review
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Traditional ballasted tracks have been used intensively around the world with ballast as the main material for tracks. Ballast has a significant contribution to the track alignment, stability and sustainability. After service, ballast deforms and degrades. Periodic ballast maintenance is needed which is a time and cost expensive activity. Understanding the mechanical behaviour of railroad ballast leads to better design and efficient maintenance. From the literature, there are two main approaches used to understand the mechanical behaviour of railroad ballast; large scale experimental and modelling. This paper aims to review the state of the art of literature on the modelling approaches used to understand ballast mechanical behaviour. It discusses the key findings from each modelling approach in understanding ballast mechanical behavior. It presents the main concerns and limitations of each modelling approach from different perspectives related to ballast modelling. It summarizes the limitations, gaps and gaps' developments of the researches used to understand ballast behaviour via modelling approach.