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Impact of passanger comfort level on design of short-span composite steel i-girder high speed railroad bridges

Şentürk, Tolga
In globalizing world, increase in demand for high speed rail travel requires comfortable ride over bridges while maintaining an economical design. These bridges either have composite steel I-girders, prestressed precast I or box girder superstructures. The span lengths can reach up to 40 meters. If frequency of wheel load pass at a point on bridge matches with one the critical frequencies of the structure, excessive vibration can developed both at the train and the bridge even if the structure is structurally safe. Excessive vibration can discomfort the passengers. Focus of this study is given to identify certain thresholds for the rigidity of span to minimize the passenger discomfort at short-span composite steel I-girder high speed railroad bridges. In this context, various span lengths with different girder configurations have been analyzed under various train design speeds and ballast stiffness. Eigenvalue analyses are performed to determine critical frequencies of bridges. Moving force models are used to determine structural vibrations as recommended by high speed railroad bridge design specifications. It is well-known that stiffer structures can have significantly less vibration amplitudes than lighter ones providing a comfortable ride for high speed train passes.