Railway Bed Stabilization

The Canadian National Railway (CN Rail) wanted to build an additional 6-track extension at the Transcona yard in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Heavy rail cars were expected to pass over this extension area and CN Rail was looking for an economical, fast, environmentally friendly and technically sound solution for their track extension. The site had swampy conditions with wet and soft clay soils. In fact when standing on the ground one would easily sink a minimum of 6 inches due to the very low shear strength of the subgrade soils in wet, saturated conditions. Since it was not possible to place a capping layer on these soils, CN Rail was forced to delay construction of the track extension, which was further complicated by continuous heavy rainfall. The challenge was to design and construct a stable formation on the weak subgrades which could serve as a satisfactory foundation for the rail tracks trafficked by heavy rail cars.

Titan proposed a geosynthetics solution as the most suitable for this project. Based on the nature of the subgrade soils and the type of loading, the geosynthetic needed to do three things: separate, filter and reinforce. Given this, Titan recommended its heavy duty bi-axial geogrid composite TE-BXC30. This was accepted as the optimal solution for the site and was approved by the project’s design engineer. The work was executed success­fully, and as expected the product performed very well. It provided a simple, easy to construct, effective, environment friendly and economic solution to a challenging problem.

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