Other Reports

Seismic Damage Assessment of Rail Structures in Japan after the January 1995 Kobe Earthquake

  • 01
  • Apr
  • 1995
AUTHOR: Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade & Douglass, Inc.
OFFICE: RPD
SUBJECT: Evaluation
KEYWORDS: Damage Repair, International Rail, Design Practice
ABSTRACT: In the six weeks following the January 17, 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake (also called the 1995 Hyogo-Ken-Nanbu Earthquake or the Kobe Earthquake) an enormous effort has been expended in the cleanup, demolition, repair and rebuilding of the damaged rail facilities. It is a credit to the rail owners, contractors and workers to have accomplished so much in so little time under very adverse conditions. Nearly every type of facility was damaged or destroyed in the peoplemover, freight, passenger rail and high speed rail lines. We observed examples of most of the damage and where all traces of the facilities were already removed we managed to receive photographs and comments from other observers. The majority of damage was observed in the four rail line viaducts between Kobe and Nishinomaya. The aerial structures were all constructed in the 1960's and early 1970's. The typical structure is composed of reinforced concrete girders in three span frames with span lengths of 10 to 15 meters. The substructures are meter square reinforced concrete columns, usually two or more per bent at about 5 meter centers. The girders are monolithic or composite with the concrete deck. All the viaducts support ballast, ties and rail. No direct fixation fasteners were observed in the aerial structures. There were some steel plate girders and some prestressed precast girders all used as drop-in spans over streets and other rail lines where falsework could not be installed. The reinforced concrete details are quite similar to the details used in California highway bridges built in the same era.
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