State-of-the-art : track degradation at bridge transitions

Gallage, Chaminda, Dareeju, Biyanvilage, & Dhanasekar, Manicka (2013) State-of-the-art : track degradation at bridge transitions. In Pathirana, K.P.P. (Ed.) Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Structural Engineering and Construction Management 2013, Kandy, Sri Lanka, pp. 40-52.


Transition zones between bridge decks and rail tracks suffer early failure due to poor interaction between rail vehicles and sudden changes of stiffness. This has been an ongoing problem to rail industry and yet still no systematic studies appear to have been taken to maintain a gradually smoothening transmission of forces between the bridge and its approach. Differential settlement between the bridge deck and rail track in the transition zone is the fundamental issue, which negatively impacts the rail industry by causing passenger discomfort, early damage to infrastructure and vehicle components, speed reduction, and frequent maintenance cycles. Identification of mechanism of the track degradation and factors affecting is imperative to design any mitigation method for reducing track degradation rate at the bridge transition zone. Unfortunately this issue is still not well understood, after conducting a numbers of reviews to evaluate the key causes, and introducing a wide range of mitigation techniques.

In this study, a comprehensive analysis of the available literature has been carried out to develop either a novel design framework or a mitigation technique for the bridge transition zone. This paper addresses three critical questions in relation to the track degradation at transition zone:

(1) what are the causes of bridge transition track degradation?;

(2) what are the available mitigation techniques in reducing the track degradation rate?;

(3) what are the factors affecting on poor performance of the existing mitigation techniques?.

It is found that the absence of soil-water response, dynamic loading response, and behaviour of geotechnical characteristics under long-term conditions in existing track transition design frameworks critically influence on the failures of existing mitigation techniques.

This paper also evaluates some of the existing design frameworks to identify how each design framework addresses the track degradation at the bridge transition zone.

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ID Code: 70153
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Bridge Transition Zone, Differential Settlement, Geotechnical Characteristics, Soil-water Response, Long-term Performance
ISBN: 9789555891783
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Civil Engineering & Built Environment
Current > Schools > School of Earth, Environmental & Biological Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 29 Apr 2014 00:00
Last Modified: 02 May 2014 04:23

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