Engineering assessment of steel railway bridges based on past performance

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) is responsible for over 2,200 railway bridges on its rail network which extends from Queensland border through New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia to Western Australia. Of these structures there are 780 transom top steel bridges, most of them built circa 1910. The load carrying capacity of short span bridge elements such as RSJ girders, stringers and cross-girders do not comply with the current Bridge Design Code AS5100 at the ultimate limit state (ULS) in bending, yet these elements are performing without distress due to bending. Performance assessment of a network representative sample of steel bridges was undertaken in accordance with AS13822 Basis for Design of Structures Assessment of Existing Structures, 2005. It was determined that all bridges are deemed safe under current traffic loading and speed. This AS13822 compliance has structural design consequences on dynamic load allowance (DLA) and ULS code factors. The paper discusses in detail the impact of high code DLA for railway traffic loading comprising: Assessment in accordance with AS13822; A comparison of the DLA in AS5100 to the most relevant international standards; The interaction of DLA and Live Load factors; Factors contributing to railway DLA. (a) For the covering entry of this conference, please see IRRD abstract no. E218160.


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  • Accession Number: 01144023
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: TRL
  • Files: ITRD, ATRI
  • Created Date: Nov 16 2009 12:21PM