Assessment of U-type wrought iron railway bridges

Lee Canning, Mohammad Mehdi Kashani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
1296 Downloads (Pure)


A number of assessment codes and guides exist that take into account the particular details of old U-frame types and riveted wrought iron construction; however, a significant number of old bridges still have details that cause difficulty in reliable assessment or require very conservative assumptions, giving low assessed capacity. In this paper, an alternative assessment method using non-linear finite-element analysis of an old U-frame railway bridge is presented. By using the analysis results, some guidelines and recommendations are suggested that are considered to be useful for the assessment by the engineering community. However, this approach also has limitations, as it is reliant on assumptions that can be difficult to confirm without extensive field monitoring and experimental testing. The analysis results showed that main girders with non-code-compliant U frames do indeed benefit from a low but significant level of restraint to resist lateral torsional buckling and also that girders that are marginally non-compact based on codified assessment methods may actually have sufficient local stability to provide additional flexural capacity beyond the elastic moment capacity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-67
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the ICE - Engineering History and Heritage
Issue number2
Early online date11 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - May 2016


  • bridges/field testing
  • monitoring
  • bridges
  • buildings, structures & design
  • field testing & monitoring


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