Developing a Prism Qualification Test to Ensure Adequate Splitting Resistance in Pretensioned Concrete Railroad Ties



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Rural Railroad Safety Center, Kansas State University.


This report presents the results from research that evaluated the effect of wire indentation type, edge distance, and the strength of concrete at de-tensioning on longitudinal splitting in pretensioned concrete railroad ties. Four-wire pretensioned concrete prisms were cast with varying reinforcement types and edge distances and the resulting splitting crack lengths were carefully measured. Results showed that concrete edge distance was the most significant factor affecting longitudinal splitting cracks, with reinforcement indentation type also playing a key role. This work resulted in the successful development of a qualification test to ensure adequate splitting resistance in pre-tensioned concrete railroad ties. This test was formally adopted as section 4.2.4 in Chapter 30 of the 2021 AREMA Manual for Railway Engineering.



Prestressed Concrete, Railroad Ties, Longitudinal Splitting, Splitting Resistance Test, AREMA