Sensing and Rating of Vehicle–Railroad Bridge Collision

Shreya Vemuganti, Ali I. Ozdagli, Bideng Liu, Anela Bajric, Fernando Moreu, Matthew Brake, Kevin Troyer

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


Overhead collisions of trucks with low-clearance railway bridges cause more than half of the railway traffic interruptions over bridges in the United States. Railroad owners are required to characterize the damage caused by such events and assess the safety of subsequent train crossings. However, damage characterization is currently visual (subjective) and becomes difficult in remote locations where collisions are not reported and inspections are not performed following the impact. To mitigate these shortcomings, this paper presents a new impact definition and rating strategy for automatically and remotely quantify damage. This research proposes an impact rating strategy based on the information that best describes the consequences of vehicle-railway bridge collisions. A series of representative impacts were simulated using numerical finite element models of a steel railway bridge. Railway owners provided information about the bridge and impact characterization based on railway industry experience. The resulting nonlinear dynamic responses were evaluated with the proposed rating strategy to assess the effect of these impacts. In addition, a neural network methodology was implemented on a simplified numerical model to identify spatial characteristics of the impact damage.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDynamics of Civil Structures : Proceedings of the 35th IMAC, A Conference and Exposition on Structural Dynamics 2017
EditorsJ. Caicedo, S. Pakzad
Publication date2017
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-54777-0
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event35th Conference and Exposition on Structural Dynamics (IMAC 2017) - Garden Grove, United States
Duration: 30 Jan 20172 Feb 2017


Conference35th Conference and Exposition on Structural Dynamics (IMAC 2017)
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityGarden Grove
SeriesConference Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Mechanics Series


  • Railway bridges
  • Structural health monitoring
  • Finite element model
  • Impact detection
  • Neural networks


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