Negative Impacts on Railway Embankments Exposed to Wind-Blown Sand and Optimizing the Economic Height

<- Back to II. Mechanical Engineering & Physics Vol. 10

Cite the paper

Ahmed Abdelmoamen Khalil (2017). Negative Impacts on Railway Embankments Exposed to Wind-Blown Sand and Optimizing the Economic Height. Mechanics, Materials Science & Engineering, Vol 10. doi:10.2412/mmse.39.59.615

Authors: Ahmed Abdelmoamen Khalil

ABSTRACT. Railway lines in deserts suffer from risks of migration of sand dunes, transport of sand by wind and its accumulation over the tracks. This paper focuses on causes, types, and different characteristics of sand movement in desert that affecting safety and performance of running trains. Risk and potential impact of accumulation of sand on Bahariya railway line located in Western Desert of Egypt such as; several derailments and contamination of track components are analysed. The purpose of this paper is to study the impact of embankment height on sand accumulation. Thus, ANSYS FLUENT software is used to simulate the blown wind on the railway embankment to obtain the wind velocity vectors and contours. Hence, embankment height that reduces deposition and accumulation of sand over the track is obtained and recommended to 6 m. Cost analysis has been conducted to compare between the recent and the recommended embankments. It is concluded that cost of the recommended embankment is about 63% of the overall cost of the recent case.

Keywords: railway, embankment, track contamination, wind, sand, FLUENT

DOI 10.2412/mmse.39.59.615

View in web format Negative Impacts on Railway Embankments Exposed to Wind-Blown Sand and Optimizing the Economic Height


[1] Jabbar A. Zakeri and Mariam Forghani 2012. Railway root design in desert areas, American Journal of Environmental Engineering, USA, doi: 10.5923/j.ajee.20120202.03

[2] Gifford, A.W., Warner, D.M., and El-Baz, F. 1979. Orbital observations of sand distribution in the Western Desert of Egypt. Apollo-Soyuz Test Project Summary Science Report, vol. II, p. 219-236.

[3] Misak R.F. and El Ghazawy M.M. 1989. Desertification Processes in the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt, International Meeting on Environmental Disasters and Desertification, Palermo, Italy.

[4] Ghoneim E. and El-Baz F. 2007. The application of radar topographic data to mapping of a mega-paleodrainage in the Eastern Sahara, Journal of Arid Environments, Vol. 69, No. 4, pp. 658-675, doi:10.1016/j.jaridenv.2006.11.018

[5] M. E. Hereher 2010. Sand movement patterns in the Western Desert of Egypt: an environment concern, Environ Earth Sci. 59: 1119-1127. doi: 10.1007/s12665-009-0102-9

[6] H. Gad Elrab 2005.The Role of Railways in Economic Developing in Western Desert of Egypt: Geographic study, Arabic edition, Kottob Arabia, Cairo.

[7] ENR. 2012. Annual financial budget of Egyptian National Railways Report, Cairo, Egypt.

[8] M. S. Abdelmoaty 2011. Protection of open channels from sand dunes movements. Case study – Toshka Project, Fifteenth International Water Technology Conference, IWTC-15 2011, Alexandria, Egypt.

[9] Kang Liqiang et al. 2008. Experimental investigation of particle velocity distributions in windblown sand movement, Science in China Press, China, doi: 10.1007/s11433-008-0120-8.

[10] ENR . 2014. Maintenance Annual Statistical Reports, Cairo, Egypt.

[11] Anderson J. D.1995. Computational Fluid Dynamics: The Basics with Applications, McGrew Hill Inc., London.

[12] J. Blazek 2001. Computational Fluid Dynamics: Principles and Applications, Elsevier, UK.

[13] ANSYS, Inc. Proprietary 2013. ANSYS Fluent Tutorial Guide. Available from internet:

[14] Jasper F. KOK et al. 2012. The Physics of Wind- Blown Sand and Dust, rep. Prog. Phys., doi:10.1088/0034-4885/75/10/106901.

[15] A. Watson 1985. The control of wind-blown sand and moving dunes: a review of the methods of sand control in deserts, with observations from Saudi Arabia, Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology, London, Vol. 18, pp. 237-252, doi: 10.1144/GSL.QJEG.1985.018.04.19

Creative Commons Licence
Mechanics, Materials Science & Engineering Journal by Magnolithe GmbH is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at