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Advancing Rail Resilience: How Geosynthetics Help Achieve CRISI Objectives for Robust and Stable Infrastructure

train approaching on track with geoweb geocells installled

The U.S. Department of Transportation, under the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) program, has allocated over $1.4 billion to upgrade and safeguard rail infrastructure across 35 states and the District of Columbia.

This initiative, enriched by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), focuses on ensuring more resilient, efficient, and safe rail infrastructure, mitigating the impacts of severe weather and climate change. It seeks to enhance community safety and expedite the transportation of goods and people through improved and robust rail services. The demand for these grants is significantly high, highlighting the pressing need for enhancements in rail infrastructure across the nation.

CRISI Key Takeaways:

  • Grant Allocation: Over $1.4 billion has been allocated for 70 rail projects to enhance and protect rail infrastructure.
  • CRISI Program & IIJA: The program, supercharged by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, focuses on improving rail infrastructure standards and resilience.
  • High Demand: The overwhelming requests for grants underscore the pressing need for improvements and innovations in rail infrastructure.
  • Community Impact: The projects funded are crucial for ensuring community safety and promoting efficient transportation of goods and people.

The GEOWEB® Soil Stabilization System (Geocells): A Proven Solution for Rail Infrastructure

Mainline Ballast Reinforcement

werring rail dive under

The GEOWEB Rail Ballast Stabilization System stands out as an innovative solution for addressing ballast stabilization challenges, creating a more resilient and stable layer underneath the track. The 3D geocellular system yields unparalleled performance and construction benefits, surpassing the capabilities of 2D methods like planar geogrids or Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA), especially in areas with soft subgrades.

The performance of the GEOWEB system is backed by extensive research and rigorous field testing at renowned institutions such as TTCI and Oregon State University. It has demonstrated its ability to reduce settlement and track displacement under the strain of heavy freight loads on soft subgrades, and has already been adopted for use in railway track beds by international authorities in other advanced nations, such as Network Rail in the United Kingdom, with their recent published guidance on “The Use of Geocells in the UK Railway Track Bed”. Additionally, SmartRock testing by the University of Kansas revealed significant reductions in ballast abrasion, movement, and rotation, as further evidence the life of the ballast can be extended when the right geosynthetic product is incorporated into the project design.

Bridge Approaches, Crossings, Diamonds: Ballast Reinforcement in High-Stress Areas

Areas like bridge approaches, diamonds, turn-outs, and crossings face immense stress and usually require a lot of upkeep. The GEOWEB Soil Confinement System helps lower the need for maintenance in these challenging spots. It strengthens the ballast layer, reduces movement and deflection, and cuts down on maintenance in these crucial transition zones.

GEOWEB Geocells: BABA-Approved

Earlier this year, the White House provided guidance on the Build America, Buy America (BABA) initiative. BABA specifies certain products must be manufactured in the United States to qualify for federal funding under the IIJA.

Selecting the GEOWEB System for enhanced track stabilization allows projects to achieve improved resilience and longevity, ensuring compliance with the standards set by the CRISI program, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and Build America, Buy America. Presto Geosystems is ISO 9001 certified, and the GEOWEB Soil Stabilization System is 100% U.S. made. (A copy of our Certificate of Registration can be provided upon request.)

Need Assistance with Your Rail Projects?

Presto Geosystems offers free project planning support for all GEOWEB Geocells applications in rail projects. Our experienced engineers are ready to assist with project evaluations to ensure your project’s success from start to finish. If you’re dealing with challenges related to soil stabilization or looking for innovative track stabilization solutions, please reach out to us.

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