many years of work
Research and Development

TrackTex is the result of more than a decade of research and development by GEOfabrics, and built on many years of work conducted by British Rail and other organisations into the use of geotextiles in rail applications.

Site trials through the 1970’s and 1980’s established that geosynthetics offered clear benefits in enhancing the performance of existing trackbed layers or significantly reducing the required depth of construction.

Four main classes of geosynthetic were identified:

  • Standard geotextile separator:
    For use with either a new sand blanket or where there is an existing good quality formation with a small percentage of coarse particles
  • Robust geotextile separator:
    Used where there is a larger percentage of coarse particles
  • Geogrid reinforcement:
    Used to prevent the movement of ballast over soft ground
  • Geogrid/geotextile composite:
    Used to prevent the movement of ballast over soft ground


All offered varying degrees of improvement in the performance of aggregates, but the long term aim still remained to find a geosynthetic that could replace all the functions of the sand blanket.

The perfect combination had been discovered

Such a material needed to prevent upward migration of fines, confirm to the excavated formation thereby preventing subgrade erosion, be durable to the dynamic environment found below ballast, and allow for the dessication of existing slurry.

It was known non-woven geotextile alone would not provide sufficient filtration due to the pore size in relation to the particle sizes present in the slurry. After testing many options it was established that using a microprous filtration media provided the filtration properties required, but that it would be susceptible to damage under ballast loading.

A prototype composite sandwiched the microporous filter two heavy protector non-wovens was created. Using a full scale testing rig the prototype was subjected to 3.7 million cycles to simulate approximately 70MGT of heavy traffic, then excavated and examined.

There was no sign of slurry above the composite while underneath the ballast was full of wet slurry. The slurry adhering to the underside of the composite was stiffer (more viscous) indicating a lower moisture content caused by the cyclic action squeezing the water out leading to desiccation. The perfect combination had been discovered.

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...