Load Distribution in Steel Railway Bridges

by Wallace W. Sanders, Jr.,
William H. Munse,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1969, Vol. 95, Issue 12, Pg. 2763-2782

Document Type: Journal Paper


The study was undertaken to develop better design specifications for the distribution of live load in the floor systems of steel railway bridges. The paper briefly summarizes two methods of analysis for the determination of load distribution. Using these methods, a moment distribution procedure and the orthotropic plate theory, studies of simulated floors are correlated with actual bridge test results. In addition, an extended study is made of the effects of major variables on the distribution behavior. These results are then used to develop more realistic design procedures for load distribution. Finally, recommendations are made for changes in the load distribution criteria in the AREA Specifications for Steel Railway Bridges.

Subject Headings: Load distribution | Steel bridges | Railroad bridges | Bridge design | Live loads | Load factors | Load and resistance factor design | Floors

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