Traffic-induced vibrations on a two span composite railway bridge : Comparison of theory and measurements

University essay from KTH/KTH/Bro- och stålbyggnadJärnvägsgruppen, JVG


The economic and technologic development experienced by the society in the last decades has caused the demand of a new type of faster and more comfortable transport. This type of demand has been covered by the air transport, the road transport and the railway transport.

This situation where the society demands an improvement in her quality of life is the best situation for the birth of the high speed trains. Different studies carried out in the transport field have demonstrated that for distances between four hundred and one thousand of kilometres, the high speed trains provide a lower travelling times than the rest of the transports.

These types of high speed trains have increased the axle loads and the average speeds, thus generally a dynamic analysis is required by the ERRI in all the railway bridges when the train speed is higher than 200 Km/h. Besides, when the train speed is going to be higher than 200 Km/h, the vibrations induced in the bridge can reduce the service life of the vehicles and structure, and generally, this fact leads to become the dynamic effect in the principal factor to take into account in order to design the structure. Therefore, an important knowledge in railway bridges dynamic is required to not to oversize the structures with the consequent economic cost.

The purpose of this thesis is to study the possibility of accurately predicting the dynamic response of an existing railway bridge, subjected to the high speed train Gröna Tåget, implementing a simplified 2D finite element model with the aid of the program Abaqus. The bridge chosen is the Lögdeälv Bridge, a two spans composite bridge, located along the Bothnia Line (the new Swedish high-speed line), between the localities of Nordmaling and Rundvik.

The measured eigenfrequencies due to bending modes of vibration are used for updating the model and then, these frequencies and the accelerations measured are used to compare and validate the different 2D updated models. The parameters used to update the models are; the damping coefficient of the structure, the mass and the stiffness of the bridge, and the supports stiffness. Finally it is concluded that the best model is achieved when the rotational support stiffness is modified in the two extremes supporters of the bridge.

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