Seismic Performance of Railway Bridges

by V. Sharma, Assoc of American Railroads, Chicago, United States,
J. Choros, Assoc of American Railroads, Chicago, United States,
E. M. Maragakis, Assoc of American Railroads, Chicago, United States,
W. G. Byers, Assoc of American Railroads, Chicago, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Structures Congress XII

Abstract:

Historically, the seismic performance of railway bridges in the U.S.A. has been very satisfactory during earthquakes of this century. There are many possible factors contributing to this fact, some of which include 1. Large safety factors in the design of various components of these structures 2. Very conservatively sized foundations including bearing support conditions and 3. Most of the bridges are simply supported spans. In addition, these structures were designed for very heavy steam locomotive trains allowing for the inherent 'hammer blow' (the dynamic enhancement) of loads in the vertical direction. This paper examines the design criteria used for railway bridges during the past century and their beneficial effects on the seismic performance of railway bridges. Also, it is felt that the presence of rails provides a significant additional restraint and a mechanism for transferring seismic loading to the roadbed thus participating as an integral part of the structure.



Subject Headings: Load and resistance factor design | Seismic loads | Bridge components | Vertical loads | Railroad bridges | Structural safety | Seismic design | Railroad tracks | United States

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