Load Transfer from Track to Bridge Structure on Curves

The design of a railway bridge is significantly different from that of a conventional highway bridge because of the additional loading imposed onto the bridge due to the behavior of the track structure under vehicle and thermal loading. This difference is further enhanced on curves, where the bridge is supporting a track with curvature. These difference include the thermal forces generated by the Continuously Welded Rail (CWR) on the track which can generate well over 220,000 lbs of longitudinal force per rail; thus of the order 900,000 lb for double track on a bridge. The presence of a curve results in this force having a lateral as well as longitudinal component. In addition, the dynamics of a railway vehicle going around a curve can generate significant wheel/rail forces. This includes vertical dynamic forces of the order of 35,000 to 70,000+ lbs per wheel and lateral dynamic curving forces of the order of 20,000 to 40,000 lb per wheel depending on the type of vehicle, speed, degree of curvature and other operating parameters. This activity will develop a load transfer model from the track to the bridge structure to identify the vertical, lateral and longitudinal forces transmitted from the track structure to the bridge structure to aid the bridge designed in this design of the railway bridge. It is expected that the resulting model will be used in bridge design as well as maintenance planning and management of both the track structure and the bridge structure As such, it is a strong fit to the theme of the UTC activity.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $150000
    • 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:

      University of Delaware, Newark

      Department of Civil Engineering
      301 DuPont Hall
      Newark, DE  United States  19716
    • Project Managers:


    • Performing Organizations:

      University of Delaware, Newark

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

      Zarembski, Allan

    • Start Date: 20190901
    • Expected Completion Date: 20230930
    • Actual Completion Date: 0
    • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01762028
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: University Transportation Center on Improving Rail Transportation Infrastructure Sustainability and Durability
    • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747132
    • Files: UTC, RIP
    • Created Date: Jan 7 2021 11:14PM