Mud pumping since 2010
Development of TrackTex

While mud-pumping affects probably less than 10% of track renewal sites the renewal costs for those sites is proportionally much higher as they required deep excavation and installation of additional granular layers. Since the 1970’s British Rail Engineers had been investigating ways to use geotextiles to reduce the cost of treating mud pumping. 

By the 1980’s geotextiles were successfully used to reduce the thickness of sand blankets, but could not completely remove the need for imported aggregate as the pore size of the geotextile alone was too large to prevent migration of fines. Impermeable layers, also known as  waterproofing, had also been trialed. While they prevented water penetrating down and slurry moving up into the ballast it was found that by not allowing the water to leave the slurry the subgrade was weakened in any case. 

A new kind of geosynthetic composite

In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s GEOfabrics became heavily involved in research to develop a new kind of geosynthetic composite which could act as a waterproof barrier to rainwater while also allowing pore water in the slurry to escape, with enough robustness to endure the abrasion in aggressive mainline trackbed environments. This meant significant investment into wide width lamination production facilities and full scale testing rig. 

Following more than a decade of research live site trials confirmed the laboratory findings that TrackTex was a viable alternative to using sand blankets. It can facilitate the passage of liquid under pressure, but the pores are such that the passages of clay fines is prohibited. Without pressure, water cannot pass through the filter, therefore any underlying clay formation will, over time dry out and have an improved modulus. TrackTex is also proven to be sufficiently robust to resist installation and operational damage, yet is flexible enough to conform to uneven subgrade formation such that no slurry inducing voids exist.  

This unique combination of properties means TrackTex is the most cost effective way of preventing and correcting mud-pumping failure. Fast installation rates reduce construction costs and possession time. TrackTex has been shown to increase trackbed maintenance intervals for pumping failure by over 25 times, providing significant savings over any available alternative. 

Preventing Mud Pumping, Ensuring Track Stability

Comprehensive Support Delivers Trackbed Performance

At GEOfabrics, we provide technical support to help you get the most out of TrackTex and address the cause of mud pumping. This ensures the stability and performance of your tracks. Our team of experts utilizes advanced techniques and technologies to deliver effective solutions tailored to your specific needs

Professional Development Hours

GEOfabrics continuing education sessions provide technical training on specifying and using TrackTex. These sessions contribute to PDH hours.

Trackbed Stabilization

Geosynthetics are widely used as a way to improve ballast performance under railways. GEOFabrics RK4 is a geocomposite comprising a stabilizing geogrid bonded to our RK1 needlepunched non-woven sep...

Symptoms of Mud Pumping

The symptoms of Mud Pumping are similar to those of life expired ballast, i.e. wet spots appearing at the surface of the ballast accompanied by rapid deteriorating of track geometry. However, from ...
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Discover Our Case Studies

Explore our latest case studies showcasing our expertise.

Diamond Crossing Replacement with TrackTex

In Detroit Lakes, MN, a frequently trafficked diamond crossing operated by Canadian Pacific and BNSF had experienced frequent fouling because of mud-pumping. Mud pumping results in ballast failure,...

Coos Bay Line Tunnel 21 Rehabilitation

The Coos Bay Rail Line is owned and operated by the Port of Coos Bay. It spans 134 miles from Coquille Oregon to Eugene Oregon, providing connections to the North American rail network for manufact...

Crossing Repair and Replacement using TrackTex

This road crossing had been replaced and repaired multiple times due to issues with track geometry movement and differential settlement of the highway and railroad. Union Pacific Engineers assessed...