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Railroad Crossing Repair Using UPM® Pavement Repair Material

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NORFOLK SOUTHERN RAILROAD – FT. WAYNE, INDIANA LINE

The Fort Wayne rail line of Norfolk Southern consists of 200 track miles across northern Indiana. Of the 200 track miles there are over fifty crossings that span the line. All of the crossings over the county roads as well as the private crossings are required to be maintained by the railroad. The private crossings traverse thousands of acres of farmland and Norfolk Southern is responsible to provide access over these tracks for farm equipment to access during tilling, planting and harvesting seasons.

railroad crossing repair

On average, the rail crossings across this line are replaced every three years. This line is one of the busiest in the state of Indiana and replacement cannot always be planned for warmer weather when traditional HMA (hot mix asphalt) can be available to repair the crossing. The alternative is High Performance UPM® Permanent Pavement Repair Materials. UPM® allows for a complete repair during challenging circumstances with limited resources.

This rail crossing is located at SR14 and County Road 600 North, (CR600N), in the Fort Wayne metro district. This particular crossing is subject to both light passenger and heavy commercial traffic.

UPM® is produced with seasonal temperature consideration. Seasonal grades include “winter”, “spring-fall” and “summer” grades. Viscosities are controlled in order to optimize use during any temperature. UPM® can be delivered to the project site days and even weeks prior to installation thus providing flexibility with the ever changing construction schedules and “off-rail” time necessary to perform the work inside the track and the approaches.

railroad crossing pavement repair

Traditional use of HMA requires material delivery and a narrow placement window that is often missed due to unforeseen circumstances such as preparation delays, train schedules and plant mix inefficiencies.

Work can begin, stop and begin again as necessary to accommodate the train schedules, vehicular traffic (if maintaining partial lane) and can be installed anytime, regardless of weather conditions when using UPM®.

UPM® is placed in 2-3” lifts and compacted using a mechanical plate compactor.

UPM® is placed in 2-3” lifts and compacted using a mechanical plate compactor.

Multiple lifts are required to achieve the full depth of the repair. The final lift shall be installed high, (typically 20% of the depth of the repair), to compensate for some settling through vehicular compaction. This application had the final lift held 3/4” above the finished surface (rail).

The use of UPM® provides for ductility (flexibility) as a result of our very slow cure. The flexible qualities of UPM® allow for movement with the inside rubber rail membrane thus preventing cracking, breaking and premature deterioration that occurs with HMA once it’s compacted and cools to ambient temperatures. Yet, stability and load bearing capabilities of UPM® is not compromised.

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Immediately upon installation of UPM®, the railroad crossing is immediately opened for vehicular traffic.
During the installation, the only compaction required was performed by that of the plate compactor.

Making two to three passes with each lift of UPM® is all that’s required to obtain compaction and stability for this rail crossing.

This installation was performed on April 3, 2014. For more information on this application or UPM® contact Unique at: Unique Paving Materials Cleveland, Ohio (216-441-4880) info@uniquepavingmaterials.com. Steve Wallace (317) 294-3305.