Well-Performing Railway Bridge Transitions - Design and Performance

This report presents a review of railroad track transition behavior, causes of undesirable transition performance, and designs that exhibit desirable transition performance based on field measurements. The first focus of the report is reviewing common factors that lead to transition geometry deviations. This involves the inherent problem of a train passing from an earthen and ballasted approach to a nearly rigid bridge structure. The differential movement between the earthen approach and bridge usually results in increased dynamic loads. To avoid these increased dynamic loads, all transient and permanent displacements between the approach and bridge deck should be balanced by reducing ballast and subgrade settlements in the approach and decreasing the stiffness of the bridge. Two well-performing bridge transitions were monitored using non-invasive accelerometers to illustrate design techniques that can balance transition differential movements and thus reduce dynamic loads. Other design techniques and ballast remedial measures are discussed because of their relevance to reducing ballast settlement in the approach.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This document was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, University Transportation Centers Program. This final report for NURail project NURail2016-UKY-R11 consists of three distinct documents, "Bridge Transition Trackbed Behavior Modifications Using Hand Tamping Techniques," "Well-Performing Railway Bridge Transitions-Design and Performance" and "Vertical Transient Track Displacement Measurements Using Non-invasive Techniques."
  • Corporate Authors:

    National University Rail Center (NURail)

    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 205 N. Mathews Avenue
    Urbana, IL  United States  61801

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Stark, Timothy D
    • Wilk, Stephen T
    • Rose, Jerry G
  • Publication Date: 2016-3-10


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 26p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01599259
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: NURail2016-UKY-R11
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT13-G-UTC52
  • Created Date: Apr 27 2016 10:27AM