Design and monitoring of well-performing bridge transitions

Jerry G. Rose, Timothy D. Stark, Stephen T. Wilk, Macy Purcell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper presents a review of railroad track transition designs that have performed well, e.g., ballasted bridge decks, hot-mixed asphalt (HMA) sublayer, and concrete wing walls parallel to the track, to guide future design and maintenance of bridge transitions instead of installing a concept and monitoring its performance. Using noninvasive monitoring techniques, e.g., miniature accelerometers, the performance of the two railroad track transitions has been measured and evaluated. The results show well-performing track exhibits tie accelerations of 5g or less with little difference between: (1) the bridge deck, approach embankment, and open track, (2) concrete and wood ties, and (3) clayey or silty subgrades. The measured transient vertical tie displacements are negligible, which verifies the observed good track support. The results from these two sites are being used as a control for comparison with poorly-performing bridge transitions, track defects, e.g. broken ties, rail-fastener gaps, fouled ballast, broken rail, and to verify the success of remedial measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2015 Joint Rail Conference, JRC 2015
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers
ISBN (Electronic)9780791856451
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
EventASME/ASCE/IEEE 2015 Joint Rail Conference, JRC 2015 - San Jose, United States
Duration: Mar 23 2015Mar 26 2015

Publication series

Name2015 Joint Rail Conference, JRC 2015


OtherASME/ASCE/IEEE 2015 Joint Rail Conference, JRC 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transportation
  • Mechanical Engineering


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