Assessment of Existing Railroad Bridges to Accommodate a Higher Speed Considering Chinese Practices

UTK Project Information


NuRail Project IDNURail2012-UTK-R01
Project TitleAssessment of Existing Railroad Bridges to Accommodate a Higher Speed Considering Chinese Practices
UniversityUniversity of Tennessee at Knoxville
Project ManagerClarke
Principal InvestigatorMa, Clarke
PI Contact InformationPhone: (865) 974-4625 Email: dclarke@utk.edu
Funding Source(s) and Amounts Provided (by each agency or organization)$40,000 UTK; $40,000 USDOT RITA
Total Project Cost$80,000
Agency ID or Contract NumberDTRT12-G-UTC18 (Grant 1)
Start Date2012-06-01
End Date2013-11-30
Location
Brief Description of Research ProjectThe objective of this study is to conduct a scanning tour of China to evaluate Chinese railroad bridge system and issues identified in China when their railroad speed was increased six different times, to system with Chinese railroad bridge systems and identify the most significant technologies for implementation in the United States, and propose strategies to accommodate a higher speed for nation's shared rail corridors. To begin, the research team (PI and his Chinese collaborator) will conduct a scanning tour of China. The purpose of the tour is to investigate and document the applications and experiences with shared rail corridors in China, especially regarding to China's six different rail speed upgrades. The team will conduct meetings with government agencies, academia, and private sector organizations. The following activities will be undertaken: (1) evaluating the performance of upgraded existing railroad bridges -- collecting information from China regarding decision-making process, evaluation methods, and field testing results on their upgraded railroad bridges; (2) interviewing owners, designers, fabricators, and contractors on project experiences and lessons learned -- example railways include: Beijing-Guangzhou and Beijing-Shanghai; (3) evaluating documentation and reports -- the fourth Railway Design Institute is the largest railway design institute in China, who has the most design experience related to the upgraded projects of existing railways to meet the needs of shared railroad corridors. The detailed operating reports and documents from the Bridge Management Section in Wuhan China will be collected; (4) observing on-site railroad bridge monitoring system -- special attention will be paid to the monitoring systems of Wuhan Yangtze River Bridge and Wuhan Hanjiang River bridge (both steel bridges), as well as of Yichang Railway Yangtze River Bridge and Zhongxiang Hanjiang Railway Bridge (both prestressed concrete bridges); (5) evaluating different strengthening methods to improve the lateral and vertical stiffness of upgraded railroad bridges -- in the Beijing-Guangzhou railway, hundreds of bridges were strengthened. After coming back from China, the research team will evaluate the US railroad bridge systems and identify the most significant technologies for implementation in the United States. For each Implementation Item, an example railroad bridge in the US will be identified and the owner of that bridge will be contacted. The research team will be responsible for: (1) Serving as the first contact for the owner and consultant engineers regarding questions on the technology; (2) Contacting the Chinese collaborator and obtaining drawings, test reports, specifications, and other information as needed to facilitate implementation by the owner; (3) Ensuring research is initiated or existing research obtained for Implementation Items that have been identified as needing further study; (4) Acting as an advocate for the Implementation item. Finally, combining all the experiences related to those example bridges in the US, the research team will propose strategies to accommodate a higher speed for nation's shared rail corridors.
Describe Implementation of Research Outcomes (or why not implemented)
Photos
Impacts/Benefits of Implementation (actual, not anticipated)
Web Links
Reports
Project Website
Completedyes
Final ReportNURail2012-UTK-R01_Final_Report_-_Existing_RR_bridges_to_accommodate_higher_speed_Chinese_Practices.pdf