Railway Geotechnics

Railway Geotechnics

Railway Geotechnics is written by four colleagues who studied at the
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in an academic program advised by
Professor Ernest T. Selig. Our collective time at the university spanned over
a decade, during which we were individually inspired by Professor Selig to
work on and further advance the subject of railway geotechnology, which
he pioneered and developed into a rigorous field of study. Since graduation,
the aggregate of our professional experience includes railway operations,
consulting, research, and education.
The field of railway geotechnology was in its infancy when we were in
our early careers. Because the engineering behavior of track substructure
was not well understood up to that point, perspectives on the causes and
cures of substructure instability were often informed by anecdote rather
than by verifiable fact. Mystique surrounded the subject in the absence of
critical thinking, often resulting in costly applications of remedial methods
that did not address the root causes of track substructure problems.

Advancing the field of railway geotechnology by the writing of this book
is a natural step for each of us in our careers. The book continues the work
Track Geotechnology and Substructure Management by Selig and Waters
(1994) and provides an update to this field of study so that current railway
engineers and managers have easier access to new and emerging best practices.

During years of writing and discussions, we each had moments that chal-
lenged some of our beliefs while we debated the merits of emerging tech-
nology and practices.The goal of this book is to provide a better understanding track substructure
in order to enable more effective design, construction, maintenance, and

management of railway track so as to ensure the vitality of rail transporta-
tion. We hope that this work will prove useful to current railway engineers

and managers as well as college students pursuing careers in the field of rail-
way engineering.


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