Technical Reports

Overview of Railroad Bridges and Assessment of Methods to Monitor Railroad Bridge Integrity

  • 23
  • Jun
  • 1994
AUTHOR: Federal Railroad Administration
OFFICE: RPD
SUBOFFICE: RPD-30
REPORT NUMBER: DOT/FRA/ORD-94/20
KEYWORDS: Railroad Bridge; Railroad Safety; Risk Evaluation; Integrity Monitoring
ABSTRACT: This report provides background information on the numbers and types of railroad bridges existing in the U.S. The risk to these bridges is discussed including the initiating causes of accidents and their physical effects on bridges. Examples of railroad bridge train accidents are briefly presented. An assessment of existing and new technologies applied to the mission of monitoring railroad bridge integrity in order to prevent railroad accidents is made'. Historical railroad bridge accident data is reviewed. Technologies applicable for monitoring railroad bridge structures are identified and discussed. The functional requirements and interfaces required by a bridge integrity monitor system are detailed. Candidate technologies are applied to three hypothetical railroad bridges to develop cost and performance estimates. The cost and performance of both simple and sophisticated bridge integrity monitor systems are compared.

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