Synthesis of Railroad Engineering Best Practices in Deep Seasonal Frost and Permafrost Areas

A rail link from Alaska to the rest of the North American rail system has been under consideration since the Alaska Railroad was started in 1914. Recently, a renewed interest in resource deposits in Alaska, Yukon, and British Columbia, as well as changing world markets, global trade dynamics and supply chains, has rekindled interest in that link. Deep seasonal frost and permafrost in the arctic environment create conditions that require different standards for the design, construction, maintenance, and operation of rail infrastructure. The geodynamic properties of roadbeds exposed to these conditions create problems that will have to be studied and understood before construction of the proposed rail link can begin. 

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Alaska Dept of Transportation
University of Alaska - Fairbanks
Principal Investigator: 
Dr. Pasi Lautala
Co-Principal Investigator(s): 
Dr. Paul Metz
Dr. Theresa Ahlborn
Dr. Devin Harris
Project Schedule: 
July, 2008
Project Category: