Load Transfer from Track to Bridge Structure on Curves

Start: September 2019, End: January 2022

Principal Investigator/Researcher

Dr. Allan M Zarembski, Jubair Musazay (Graduate Student), University of Delaware

Project Description

The design of a railway bridge is significantly different from that of a conventional highway bridge because of the additional loading imposed onto the bridge due to the behavior of the track structure under vehicle and thermal loading. This is difference in further enhanced on curves, where the bridge is supporting a track with curvature. These difference include the thermal forces generated by the Continuously Welded Rail (CWR) on the track which can generate well over 220,000 lbs of longitudinal force per rail; thus of the order 900,000 lb for double track on a bridge. The presence of a curve results in this force having a lateral as well as longitudinal component.

This activity will develop a thermal load model for curve lateral loading that can be used within a load transfer model from the track to the bridge structure. It is expected that the resulting model will be used in bridge design as well as maintenance planning and management of both the track structure and the bridge structure As such, it is a strong fit to the theme of the UTC activity.

Impacts/Benefits of Implementation


photo of bridge

Implementation of Research Outcomes


Impacts/Benefits of Implementation