Katoen Natie Industrial Track
Katoen Natie (KTN) was looking for an alternative option to solve this subgrade issue that had been a persistent issue. KTN considered removing the track, excavating and replacing the subgrade. However, this option was expensive and would greatly impact their operation. Geopier® was selected to provide a solution unlike methods used in the past.
- Owner: Katoen Natie
- General Contractor: Mainline Railroad Contractors, Inc
- Geotechnical Engineer: Raba-Kistner Consultants, Inc
An onsite inspection was performed focusing on a 800ft section of track having a history of surface defects and repeated maintenance. The site inspection revealed soft, wet molded clay soils below the ballast that were indicated by track deformation and mud pumping.
The solution for this project consisted of 5-7 ft GeoSpike℠ elements installed so that the GeoSpike apexes were 1 ft below the existing ties. The GeoSpike elements were installed in pairs spaced every tie to resist a Cooper E-80 derived working load of 16kips per GeoSpike. Approximately 800 GeoSpikes were installed in the 800’ section in about 10 days using a hyrail excavator with vibratory driver. Geopier was able to work in-between trains and clear the track for traffic. The project was completed in conjunction with the switching operations with minimal impact on the revenue service. After the installation a sample load test was conducted on an installed element, resulting in .17” deflection at 150% of design load. The track was surfaced after the installation of the GeoSpikes.
A Load Test was performed following installation to confirm that elements were supporting the measurable load without deflection. Results were as expected. A follow up inspection was performed six months after installation. The inspection included a motion capture of the vertical deflection using a laser and high-speed camera. The test showed 1/8” of vertical deflection.