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Monitoring dynamic behaviour of a long-span railway bridge
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Civil and Architectural Engineering, Structural Design and Bridges. (Brobyggnad)
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Civil and Architectural Engineering, Structural Design and Bridges. (Brobyggnad)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5447-2068
2009 (English)In: Structure and Infrastructure Engineering, ISSN 1573-2479, Vol. 5, no 5, 419-433 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A new long-span prestressed railway bridge was instrumented to better understand and monitor its dynamic behaviour. The bridge is a unique and geometrically complex concrete structure with a very slender box girder section and a slab track system. This paper briefly describes the instrumentation used for monitoring the structural behaviour and focuses on investigating the dynamic characteristics of the bridge. The bridge’s dynamic properties were estimated using the output only stochastic subspace identification technique – for which the theory and analysis technique are briefly described – together with more traditional peak picking methods. Natural frequencies of the bridge were identified and verified from a previous study. The obtained frequencies and damping ratios are to be used in updating the developed finite element model. In addition, extreme bridge acceleration values from different train passages were collected and compared with the recommended limit value in bridge design codes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis , 2009. Vol. 5, no 5, 419-433 p.
Keyword [en]
Acceleration, Damping, Monitoring, Railway bridge dynamics, slab track, traffic induced vibrations
National Category
Civil Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-11188DOI: 10.1080/15732470701478578ISI: 000268656700007ScopusID: 2-s2.0-70449672624OAI: diva2:241333
QC 20100818Available from: 2009-10-02 Created: 2009-10-02 Last updated: 2010-12-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Railway bridge response to passing trains: Measurements and FE model updating
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Railway bridge response to passing trains: Measurements and FE model updating
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Today’s railway bridges are analysed in more detail for moving loads due to the increase in speeds and axle loads. However, these numerical analyses are very time consuming as they often involve many simulations using different train configurations passing at different speeds and many considerations to take into account. Thus, simplified bridge, track and train models are often chosen for practical and time efficient simulations.

The New Årsta Railway Bridge in Stockholm was successfully instrumented during construction. A simplified 3D Bernoulli-Euler beam element FE model of the bridge was prepared. The FE model was first manually tuned based on static load testing. The most extensive work was performed in a statistical identification of significantly influencing modelling parameters. Consequently, parameters to be included in an optimised FE model updating, with consideration also to synergy effects, could be identified. The amount of parameters included in the optimisation was in this way kept at an optimally low level. For verification, measurements from several static and dynamic field tests with a fully loaded macadam train and Swedish Rc6 locomotives were used. The implemented algorithms were shown to operate efficiently and the accuracy in static and dynamic load effect predictions was shown to be considerably improved.

It was concluded that the complex bridge can be simplified by means of beam theory and an equivalent modulus of elasticity, and still produce reliable results for simplified global analyses. The typical value of an equivalent modulus of elasticity was in this case approximately 25% larger than the specified mean value for the concrete grade in question.

The optimised FE model was used in moving load simulations with high speed train loads according to the design codes. Typically, the calculated vertical acceleration of the bridge deck was much lower than the specified allowable code value. This indicates that multispan continuous concrete bridges are not so sensitive to train induced vibrations and therefore may be suitable for high speed train traffic.

Finally, the relevant area of introducing the proposed FE model updating procedure in the early bridge design phase is outlined.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2009. x, 37 p.
Trita-BKN. Bulletin, ISSN 1103-4270 ; 100
National Category
Civil Engineering
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-11195 (URN)
Public defence
2009-10-23, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
QC 20100818Available from: 2009-10-06 Created: 2009-10-02 Last updated: 2012-08-07Bibliographically approved

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