Seismic Performance of Multi-Span RC Railway Bridges

Christos Georgakis, Xavier Barrau

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Presently, there is no clear method for determining the optimal railway bridge design for a particular ground type and expected seismic intensity. Four main types of RC bridge dominate the current multi-span railway bridge design trends – the Simply Supported Beam, Continuous Box-Girder (CBG), CBG with Lead Rubber Bearing (LRB) supports and the laterally fixed continuous deck (CRB) with LRBs. In this paper, the seismic performance of these four types is examined for varying ground types and seismic intensities. For the purposes of comparison, all of the bridges have five spans with identical span lengths and topography. Initially, typical bridge deck, pier and bearing configurations are chosen and analyzed through a series of nonlinear time-history analyses using synthetic accelerograms, in which plastic hinge formation is permitted. Next, an optimization of the bridge configurations is undertaken to increase the performance and reduce the overall bridge cost. Finally, an evaluation of the lifetime bridge costs are made assuming current prices, including costs relating to the damage associated with the expected seismic events. This is accomplished through the use of approximated damage states and fragility curves in relation to PGA. The cost comparisons clearly show that particular bridge types perform better than others economically for specific ground types and expected seismic intensities, even though in some cases they may be expected to suffer larger damages during their lifetime.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWorld Conference on Earthquake Engineering. Proceedings
Place of PublicationBeijing, China
PublisherInternational Institute of Seismology and Earthquake Engineering
Publication date2008
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Event14th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering - Beijing, China
Duration: 1 Jan 2008 → …


Conference14th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering
CityBeijing, China
Period01/01/2008 → …


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