Trains running in built-up areas are a source to ground-borne noise. A careful design of the track may be one way of minimizing the vibrations in the surroundings. For example, open or infilled trenches may be constructed along the track, or the soil underneath the track may be improved. In this work, the influence of the track design and properties on the level of ground vibration due to a vehicle moving with subsonic speed is examined. A coupled finite element-boundary element model of the track and subsoil is employed, adopting a formulation in the moving frame of reference following the vehicle. The computations are carried out in the frequency domain for various combinations of the vehicle speed and the excitation frequency. The analyses indicate that open trenches are more efficient than infilled trenches or soil stiffening–even at low frequencies. However, the direction of the load is of paramount importance. For example, the response outside a shallow open trench may change dramatically when horizontal load is applied instead of vertical load.
Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, 2005, Vol 25, Issue 7-10, p. 701-716