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Railroad Separation

Whether rehabilitating existing rail or laying new track, the use of a geotextile separator can help railroads battle the negative effects of poor subgrades. This construction approach includes a layer or layers of heavy, nonwoven geotextile; suitably graded ballast and sub ballast; sand; adequately sized drainage ditches and installation of sub-drains and/or lateral drains.

Geotextile vs. Geogrid

Abrasion of the geosynthetic caused by the grinding of the ballast is a major concern. Geogrids have demonstrated they will deteriorate considerably from abrasion, while heavy nonwoven geotextiles have proven more suited to the task. As such, a nonwoven geotextile is the correct choice.

The American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA) specification recommends a 10-12 oz nonwoven geotextile for regular applications; a 12-16 oz nonwoven geotextile for heavy applications; and a 16-20 oz nonwoven geotextile for extra heavy applications.

However, to aid in protecting the geotextile, an optional 2 inch sand layer or a 6 inch layer of coarse sub-ballast placed on top can reduce abrasion from the ballast while also aiding in filtration. For remediations, a protective 2 inch sand layer placed underneath the geotextile can help protect it from punctures and abrasion from the old ballast.

  • Excellent Alternative Solution
  • Choose a Heavy Nonwoven
  • AREMA Recommended
  • Handles Abrasion from Ballast
  • New Rail or Remediation of Existing Lines

Please click on the link below to visit the heavy weight nonwoven geotexile section of our website for more information and data sheets.