In rail track environments the loading system is cyclic unlike the monotonic seepage force that usually occurs in embankment dams. The mechanisms of filtration, interface behaviour and time-dependent changes of the drainage and filtration properties occurring within the filter medium require further research to improve the design guidelines. A novel cyclic process simulation filtration apparatus was designed and commissioned at the University of Wollongong, and a standard testing procedure was established. The test apparatus was designed to simulate heavy haul train operations. Key parameters that influence the change in porosity and pore water pressure within the subballast layer under cyclic conditions in rail track environments were identified.