Geotechnical Properties of Modified Railway Sidings Coal Discard

Felix Okonta, Carl Hien Rottcha

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Coal spillage often occurs in railway sidings which are used for the loading and offloading of coals in mining towns. Spilled coal materials are readily exposed to the weather elements and gradually intermixed with soils in the vicinity of the sidings to form coal–soil composite layers. The layer often softens significantly in poor drainage and is also a major source of acid water drainage. Coal–soil composites of 1:1 to 5:1 coal-to-sand ratios were prepared and cured. Another batch of composites was stabilized with 8% cement, compacted and cured. Test results reveal that dry unconfined compression strength and modulus of cured composite were only marginally lower than cement-stabilized composite but were fourfold lower in soaked state. The unconfined compressive strength (UCS) and stiffness of coal–soil composite tend to the cement-stabilized values as coal–soil ratio tends to 5:1. The average coefficient of permeability decreased with cement stabilization. Coal–soil composite backfill and cement-modified composites require proper drainage facilities to provide acceptable pavement service in coal sidings and prevent acid drainage.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Transportation Geotechnics IV - Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Transportation Geotechnics
EditorsErol Tutumluer, Soheil Nazarian, Imad Al-Qadi, Issam I.A. Qamhia
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9783030772291
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event4th International Conference on Transportation Geotechnics, ICTG 2021 - Chicago, United States
Duration: 23 May 202126 May 2021

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Civil Engineering
ISSN (Print)2366-2557
ISSN (Electronic)2366-2565


Conference4th International Conference on Transportation Geotechnics, ICTG 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Coal discard
  • Permeability coefficient
  • Railway sidings
  • Soil stabilization
  • Unconfined compression strength

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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