Title

BEHAVIOR OF RAILWAY BRIDGES AND OTHER RAILWAY INFRASTRUCTURE IN THREE STRONG TO GREAT EARTHQUAKES IN 2001

Authors

W G. Byers

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2004

Subject Area

infrastructure - track, organisation - structures, mode - rail, mode - other

Keywords

Tracks, Subsidence, Settling, Settlement (Structures), Rockfalls, Railroad tunnels, Railroad tracks, Railroad buildings, Railroad bridges, Nisqually (Washington), Loss and damage, Landslides, Infrastructure, Gujarat (India), Elevated railroads, Earthquakes, Atico (Peru)

Abstract

In 2001, earthquakes in January (magnitude 7.7 in Gujarat, India), February (magnitude 6.8 near Nisqually, Washington), and June (magnitude 8.4 near Atico, Peru) damaged railroads. Their effects on railroad infrastructure, considered both in isolation and in comparison with other effects on railroad operations, are of interest to engineers with responsibility for railroad bridges and other railroad maintenance in seismically active regions. Although the overall effects on railroad operations were correlated with earthquake magnitude, damage to structures appeared more closely related to local conditions and details of design and construction. Track and roadbed damage resulted from settlement, slides, and rock falls. It was correlated with magnitude in both severity and extent and caused the most significant effect on operations in both the Gujarat and Atico earthquakes. Damage to railroad bridges included minor displacement of steel girder spans, cracking of joints in masonry piers and arches, separation of wing walls from abutments, collapse of masonry spandrel walls of arches, rotation and displacement of a framed dump bent in a timber trestle, and movement of piers of an open bascule span that prevented closing of the span. Damage to tunnels was minor. As for other railroad structures, there was widespread damage and destruction of masonry buildings, severe damage to a pedestrian viaduct over a railroad yard in India, significant damage to railroad buildings in Seattle from the Nisqually earthquake, and minor damage to buildings in Peru.