Introduction to the FRA Crosstie and Fastening System BAA
As part of a research program funded by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) has begun work on improving the design and performance of concrete crossties and elastic fastening systems in the United States (US). Program objectives include a comprehensive international literature review and state-of-the-art assessment of crosstie and fastening system design and performance, experimental laboratory and field testing to fill voids in our current understanding of concrete crosstie and fastening system behavior, and improved mechanistic design procedures and recommended practices for concrete crossties and fastening systems. These objectives will lead to decreased life cycle costs of track components and improved safety by increasing the robustness of critical infrastructure components. The published material in this report, as well as the documents within the UIUC Concrete Crosstie and Fastening System Document Depository, represents the position of the authors and not necessarily that of DOT.
Document Depository Background and Purpose
Prior to the development of the UIUC Concrete Crosstie and Fastening System Document Depository (hereafter referred to as "Document Depository"), there was no centralized document storage location for documents relevant to the domain of concrete crossties and fastening systems. This presented a challenge to academic and industry researchers in grasping the breadth and depth of previous research on the subject. As a result, more time would need to be spent parsing through multiple libraries, databases, grey literature, and/or personal research collections pertaining to the subject matter. Therefore, it was determined that UIUC could serve the US railway industry by developing the Document Depository to serve as a centralized reference location specifically for the papers, presentations, journal articles, etc. pertaining to concrete crossties and fastening system design, research, and performance.