Development of a Practical Risk Framework for Railway Bridge Stiffness Transition Maintenance and Upgrade

The objective of this research is to take advantage of historic measurement cycles to develop a risk index for bridge transitions that take into account the stiffness differential (mean stiffness between zones), stiffness variation (variation around the mean), the train axle load, train operating speed, rate of degradation of the transition zone, length of the bridge, and other factors to be determined. The data that will be utilized to achieve this objective is vertical track deflection data, railway operating data and track geometry inspection data that was gathered over several runs in the course of one year. This data is readily available to the research team for 500 miles of railway with nearly a hundred bridges. The results of this research activity will be a framework for practically implementing a risk index for bridge transitions that will allow the railway to prioritize bridges for maintenance and/or remedial action, as well as monitor the health of bridge transitions. In addition, the resulting framework will have the ability to identify the most cost effective approach to managing the bridge transitions; status quo maintenance, implementation of a transition zone (and best approach), or matching stiffness through the bridge.


    • English


    • Status: Completed
    • Funding: $Federal $48,323, Match $48,459
    • Contract Numbers:


    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

      University Transportation Centers Program
      Department of Transportation
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Managing Organizations:

      Center for Integrated Asset Management for Multimodal Transportation Infrastructure Systems (CIAMTIS)

      Pennsylvania State University
      University Park, PA  United States  16802
    • Project Managers:

      Donnell, Eric

      Rajabipour, Farshad

    • Performing Organizations:

      University of Delaware, Newark

      Department of Civil Engineering
      301 DuPont Hall
      Newark, DE  United States  19716
    • Principal Investigators:

      Palese, Joseph

    • Start Date: 20190301
    • Expected Completion Date: 20200302
    • Actual Completion Date: 20200825
    • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01698649
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Center for Integrated Asset Management for Multimodal Transportation Infrastructure Systems (CIAMTIS)
    • Contract Numbers: 69A3551847103
    • Files: UTC, RIP
    • Created Date: Mar 6 2019 10:25AM