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Railway embankment failures due to dispersive soils


The Tanzania-Zambia Railway which connects Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and Kapiri Mposhi (Zambia) has been affected by embankment failures in the flats through the Selous Game Reserve. Ordinary maintenance schemes were not able to cope with the problems. An extensive investigation revealed that the main reason for the failures is attributed to the dispersivity of the embankment soils. Measures to rehabilitate the affected sections have been studied. Based on this study it has been decided to construct a pilot section of 700 metres in length using mechanized track maintenance and introducing the application of geotextiles. A cross section and a detailed description of the pilot section are included in the paper. Regular inspection has shown that the adopted measures are quite successful.


Bucher, Felix and Giger, Peter and Mawona, H. S. and Zuber, Alfred K.

Index Terms:

Soil; SoilGroup; Dispersive Soil

Further Information:

Date published: 1991