Natural Frequencies of a Railroad Track

[+] Author and Article Information
S. P. Patil

Association of American Railroads, Transportation Test Center, Pueblo, CO 81001

J. Appl. Mech 54(2), 299-304 (Jun 01, 1987) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3173011 History: Received April 23, 1986; Revised September 26, 1986; Online July 21, 2009


The natural frequency of an infinite railroad track was first determined by Timoshenko as ωR = √k/m , where k is the constant for the massless Winkler foundation and m is the mass per unit length of the rail. The natural frequencies of the track are determined here by modeling the track as a beam resting on a 3-D inertial elastic layer. It is shown that the mass of the supporting foundation has a significant effect on the natural frequencies of a railroad track. Finally, the concept of “added mass” is introduced in order to determine the natural frequency in a desired mode of vibration, by modeling the track as a beam on the massless Winkler foundation and adding the mass of the foundation to the beam.

Copyright © 1987 by ASME
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