Railway Geotechnics30 November 2017
Railway Geotechnics is written by four colleagues who studied at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in an academic program advised by Professor Ernest T. Selig.
Our collective time at the university spanned over a decade, during which we were individually inspired by Professor Selig to work on and further advance the subject of railway geotechnology, whichhe pioneered and developed into a rigorous field of study.
Since graduation, the aggregate of our professional experience includes railway operations,
consulting, research, and education.
The field of railway geotechnology was in its infancy when we were in our early careers.
Because the engineering behavior of track substructure was not well understood up to that point, perspectives on the causes and cures of substructure instability were often informed by anecdote rather than by verifiable fact. Mystique surrounded the subject in the absence of critical thinking,
often resulting in costly applications of remedial methods that did not address the root causes of track substructure problems.
Advancing the field of railway geotechnology by the writing of this book is a natural step for each of us in our careers.
The book continues the work Track Geotechnology and Substructure Management by Selig and Waters (1994) and provides an update to this field of study so that current railway
engineers and managers have easier access to new and emerging best practices.
During years of writing and discussions, we each had moments that challenged some of our beliefs while we debated the merits of emerging technology and practices.The goal of this book is to provide a better understanding track substructure in order to enable more effective design, construction, maintenance, and management of railway track so as to ensure the vitality of rail transportation.
We hope that this work will prove useful to current railway engineers and managers as well as college students pursuing careers in the field of railway engineering.