Illinois Center for Transportation (ICT)

The Illinois Center for Transportation (ICT) houses the Advanced Transportation Research and Engineering Laboratory (ATREL), the site of research on railway ballast and related geotechnical phenomena. Specific equipment includes:

  • Ballast Test Bed Setup with a 110 kip actuator. The actuator is operated under a precision servo-valve control in a closed-loop, servo-hydraulic system powered by a water-cooled high-pressure pump and regulated by a service manifold. This setup has recently been used to investigate ballast degradation and permanent deformation accumulation under dynamic loading of wood and steel crossties on track.
  • Triaxial Ballast Tester equipped with a 22 kip servo-hydraulic actuator. Tests can be performed in a “load controlled” or “displacement controlled” mode, to accommodate repeated loads (dynamic) or monotonic strain-controlled shear strength testing of ballast samples.