Strength and stiffness assessment of railway track substructures using crosshole-type dynamic cone penetrometer

Won Taek Hong, Sang Yeob Kim, Sung Jin Lee, Jong Sub Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


To ensure safe train services, an effective method is required for the characterization of the strength and stiffness of railway track substructures. In this study, a crosshole-type dynamic cone penetrometer (CDP) is developed to characterize the strength by the crosshole-type dynamic cone penetration index (CDPI) and stiffness by the shear wave velocity (Vs). To verify the Vs obtained using the CDP test, the Vs obtained by both CDP and bender elements are compared in a chamber test. In addition, for the characterization of the railway track substructures, field tests are conducted. The chamber test shows that the Vs obtained using the CDP are almost the same as those obtained by bender elements. In field tests, the CDPI and the Vs are profiled along the depth, the including ballast, sub-ballast, and subgrade layers, which are identified by ground penetrating radar surveys. As the CDPI is highly correlated to the Vs, the stiffness characteristics are considered to be reasonable and can be simply estimated using the CDPI. This study demonstrates that the CDP test can be used for the evaluation of the strength characteristics and small strain elastic properties of the track substructures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-97
Number of pages10
JournalSoil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Sept

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd


  • Cone penetrometer
  • Dynamic penetration
  • Maximum shear modulus
  • Railway track substructures
  • Shear wave velocity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Soil Science


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