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S. Venkata Kumar Dy.CE/TS/SC Rly & V.Sridhar DEN/CKP/SE Rly

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Sl.No Item
1. Introduction

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2. Analysis of problems due to interaction

3. Detailed analysis of major forces

4. Parameters affecting the phenomenon

5. Combinations of effects


6. Effect of temperature variation 7. Possible solutions



8. List of References 9. Related provisions of the LWR manual

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The advantages of LWR compared to fish plated track are well known. However, a number of restrictions exist in permitting uninterrupted length of LWR/CWR over the bridges. The problem in continuing LWR/CWR over bridges has been a long debated subject. The problems are due to the interaction of the forces in the rail and the bridge as well as displacement of the various elements of the bridge and track. This paper attempts to understand the interaction between the track and bridge laid with LWR/CWR over it and suggests measures to keep this interaction under control for the safe and satisfactory behaviour of the track and bridge. In general, safety should be ensured in that: a) The track structure has to be safe against buckling at the highest temperatures. b) The maximum rail stresses in the rail under the worst condition including live loads should not exceed the yield limit of rail steel. c) The gap arising from the fracture of the rail at the lowest temperature should not exceed a pre-determined limit. d) The stresses in the girder as well as in the substructure of the bridge should not exceed safe limits. In view of above, the LWR manual has laid down certain restrictions in laying of LWR over the bridges taking into consideration the provisions of the Bridge codes and manuals. The paper also attempts to suggest measures to over come the limitations prescribed in the laying of LWR over bridges, since the Railway Engineers the world over have realized the advantages of welded tracks vis--vis fish-plated tracks.

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When an LWR is introduced over a bridge, it rests on a surface subjected to deformation and movements and hence it results in displacement of track. Assuming that both track and bridge are able to move, any force or displacement that acts on any one of them will induce forces in the other. Interaction therefore takes place between the track and the bridge as follows: - Forces applied to LWR track induce additional forces into the track and/or into the bearings supporting the deck and movements of the track and of the deck. - Any movement of the deck induces a movement of the track and an additional force in the track and, indirectly, in the bridge bearings. The interaction of forces between track and bridge as explained above are those that cause relative displacement between the track and the deck. These are, 1. the thermal expansion of the deck only, in the case of LWR, or the thermal expansion of the deck and of the rail, whenever a rail expansion device is present. 2. horizontal braking and acceleration forces 3. rotation of the deck on its supports as a result of the deck bending under vertical traffic loads 4. deformation of the concrete due to creep and shrinkage 5. longitudinal displacement of the supports under the influence of the thermal gradient 6. deformation of the structure due to the vertical temperature

gradient. In most of the cases, the first three effects are of major importance and hence only they are analyzed in this paper.

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3.1 Changes in temperature The following aspects of temperature variation should be considered: 1. Changes in the uniform component of the temperature which causes a change in length in a free moving structure. 2. Differences in temperature between the deck and the rails, in the case of track with an expansion device. The reference temperature for a bridge is the temperature of the deck when the rail is fixed. The temperature of the bridge does not deviate from the reference temperature by more than +350C, and the temperature of the rail does not deviate by more than +500C. The difference in temperature between the deck and track does not exceed +200C. (In case of track with an expansion device.) In the case of LWR, a variation in the temperature of the track does not cause a displacement of the track and thus there is no interaction effect due to the variation in the temperature of the track.

3.2 Horizontal braking and acceleration forces The braking and acceleration forces applied at the top of the rail are assumed to be distributed evenly over the length under consideration and the values of these forces are to be taken as per Bridge Rules. These values are used for all types of track, i.e., LWR or fish plated with and without an expansion device. These longitudinal forces are to be combined with the corresponding vertical loads.

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3.3 Bending of the deck

Vertical traffic loads on the bridge generate large track/bridge interaction forces as result of deck bending, which cause longitudinal displacement of the upper edge of the deck end. The interaction effects depend primarily on the flexibility of the deck and on the position of its neutral axis, but are also influenced by the stiffness of the fixed elastic support and by the height of the deck. Horizontal displacement of the deck due to the traffic loads remains constant when considered along the neutral axis but varies

when measured at the upper part of the slab supporting the track. The flexibility of the fixed support reduces the displacements measured above by a constant amount equal to the backward displacement of the support. These displacements, which result in interaction between the deck and the track, generate large forces in the track and the supports.




The predominant forces generated due to interaction between track and bridges are dependent on a number of parameters of bridge and track or both: 4.1 Bridge parameters 4.1(1) Expansion length of the bridge (L): For a single span simply supported bridge, the expansion length is the span length. For a continuous bridge with a fixed support at the end, it is the total length of the deck. If the fixed elastic support is located at some intermediate point, the deck is considered to have two expansion lengths on either side of fixed elastic support.

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4.1(2) Support stiffness: The resistance of the deck to horizontal displacement is a fundamental parameter as it affects all interaction phenomena. This factor is determined primarily by the total stiffness of the supports. The total support stiffness is composed of the stiffness of each support. The stiffness of each support is in turn composed of the stiffness of the bearing, pier, base, foundation and soil.

The stiffness K of the support including its foundation to displacement along the longitudinal axis of the bridge is given by

where, p= displacement at the head of the support due to decks deformation (this could be calculated assuming the pier to be a cantilever fixed at the base) = displacement at the head of the support due to foundation rotation. h = displacement due to horizontal movement of the foundation. a = relative displacement between upper and lower parts of the bearing

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The value of the displacement component is determined at the level of the bearing as shown in the above figure. 4.1(3) Bending stiffness of the Deck: As a result of bending of the deck, the upper edge of the deck is displaced in the horizontal direction. This deformation also generates interaction forces. 4.1. (4) Height of the Deck: The distance of the upper surface of the of the deck slab from the neutral axis of the deck and the distance of the neutral axis from the center of rotation of the bearing affect the interaction phenomena due to the bending of the deck. 4.2 Track parameters: 4.2(1) Cross sectional area of the Rail : The Cross sectional area of the Rail is also an important track parameter. 4.2(2) Track resistance: The resistance k of the track per unit length to longitudinal displacement u is an important parameter. This parameter in turn depends on a large number of factors such as whether the track is loaded or unloaded, ballasted or caked, standard of maintenance etc. The resistance to longitudinal displacement is higher on loaded track than on unloaded track as can be seen from the figure below. The value of k has to be established by each railway system as per its track structure.

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Once the values of K, the stiffness of the bridge structure and k, the stiffness of the track have been evaluated, use can be made of the interaction diagrams given in UIC774-3R for calculation of the additional stresses in the rail and additional forces at the bridge support due to each of the actions causing interaction effects: viz., (1) change of temperature (2) acceleration and braking forces (3) deck deformation.


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5.0 COMBINATIONS OF EFFECTS: In view of the above, the consequence for the bridge laid with LWR track, the different criteria to be satisfied are as given below : a) b) The permissible rail stresses in LWR should be within limits. Limits have to be placed on the absolute and relative displacements of the deck and the track Limits are to be placed on the permissible end



rotations of elements the bridge. The bridge should be designed for the additional reactions due to the bridge-track interaction.

Based on the above theoretical analysis of the bridge and track, the LWR can be continued safely over the bridges. But, for doing this, each individual bridge requires a detailed analysis. Utilizing the interactive design graphs available in UIC report 774-3R, this can be done. In this report, it has also been indicted that a computer program has been developed for track-bridge analysis and field tests have validated the results of the theoretical analysis. However, for the utilization of the above UIC report, large number of bridge and track parameters along with the structural arrangement with load disposition and permitted displacements is required. It is because of the difficulty in obtaining the above data for each and every bridge and the rigorous analysis to be done, that the LWR manual has prescribed the locations where LWR can be provided with a simple consideration of temperature variation alone.


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For a effect simple understanding of the problem let us of consider the of thermal variation alone as the cause interaction between the girder and the LWR. As a result of thermal variation the girder provided with bearings has a tendency to expand or contract. On the other hand the central portion of the LWR is fixed in position irrespective of the temperature changes that occur. This results in interplay of forces between the girder and the LWR, the magnitude of the force being dependent upon the nature of fastenings being provided between the rail and sleeper. To clarify this aspect of interplay of forces between rail and girder, consider the case of a girder bridge provided with fastenings between the rail and sleeper with a creep resistance equal to p kg per rail seat. The bridge sleepers are rigidly fixed to the top flange of the girder by means of hook bolts. On variation of temperature due to the creep resistance of the fastenings, free expansion/contraction of the girder is prevented. Consequently additional forces are developed both in the girder as well as in the rail. The magnitude of this force developed depends upon the value of p (the creep resistance) and orientation/nature of the bearings provided in each span of the bridge. The following cases have been considered: Single span bridge : 1. One end fixed, other end free. 2. Both ends of girder with free bearings. Multiple span bridge:1. One end fixed and the other free with dissimilar bearings on a pier 2. One end fixed and the other free with similar bearings on a pier 3. Free bearings at both ends. The forces developed in the rail and girder for each of the five cases mentioned are shown in Figs. 6.1 to 6.5:


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Fig.6.5 These LWR force diagrams indicate that: i) For sliding bearings at both ends of the girder, the increment of force in the LWR is np/4, where n is the number of sleepers per span with creep resistant fastenings and p is the creep resistance per rail seat (Fig.6.1). This increment of force will remain the same irrespective of the number of spans of the bridge (Fig.6.4). ii) In girders with one end fixed and the other end free the increment of force in the LWR at the roller end is np/2for a single span bridge, where n = number of sleepers in the span with creep resistance of p kg per rail seat (Fig.6.2). If it is a multiple span bridge with m number of spans, the increment of force in the LWR at the roller end will be mnp/2. The resultant LWR force diagram is shown in the sketch (Fig.6.3). This is the case when on a pier, bearing for one

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girder is a fixed bearing while the bearing of the other girder is a free bearing. iii) There could be a situation where a pier supports similar nature bearings i.e. the bearings of the two girders are either fixed or free. In this case there will be no cumulative build up of force and the resultant LWR force diagram will be as indicated in Fig.6.5. In order to avoid interplay of forces between the LWR and girder a possible solution would be to provide rail free fastenings between rail and sleeper on the girder bridge. It is with this assumption that the provisions for laying LWR over bridges have been framed in the LWR manual.

Fastenings used to connect the rail to the sleeper could be of two types: (1) Creep resistant fastenings and (2) Rail free fastenings, which are now termed as zero longitudinal restraint fastenings. RDSO Report No. C-169 investigates the creep resistance offered by different types of rail sleeper fastenings. On the Indian Railways we have been traditionally using dog spikes and rail screws as rail free fastenings although now Pandrol has come up with a zero longitudinal restraint design as shown below.

Fig. 6.6


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Under normal circumstances there is a small gap between the base plate (steel) and the top side of the rail foot. In case of large

lateral forces, plate prevents the overturning of the rail. The pad under the the rail base is made up of low friction material like teflon, which provides an almost zero friction movement between the rail and sleeper. Use of rail free fastenings on bridges where LWR is proposed to be used, is now mandatory due to requirement of minimizing the interaction of forces between the LWR and the girder. However, this results in another problem: enhanced gap at fracture, when the fracture occurs on the approach of bridge laid with LWR. Consider an LWR laid on normal formation with the usual force diagram A B C D. In the event of fracture at location F the stress in the LWR is released at that location and two new breathing lengths B1F and C1 F are formed on either side of the fracture locations as shown under.

Fig. 6.7 The gap g1 at the fracture location will be given by

[Assuming equal movement on either side of F] R| represents the longitudinal ballast resistance mobilised at the time of the fracture, which is generally about 50% to 60% of the normal R value, due to the sudden nature of occurrence of a fracture.


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However, if the same fracture had occurred in the approach of a bridge provided with LWR and rail free fastenings the modification of the force diagram will be as given in the figure 6.8.

Fig. 6.8 In this figure, ABCDEFGH represents the altered force diagram. Gap at fracture in this case will be

Where L0 is the span length of the bridge provided with rail free fastenings. Expressions (1) and (2) indicate that the gap at fracture is enhanced by an amount equal to L0 t, when a girder bridge with rail free fastenings is located in the central portion of the LWR. Indian Railways have fixed the permissible gap at fracture as 50mm where by expression (2) becomes

Over the years attempts have been made to increase the value of L0 by adopting various techniques: -

(1) One way could be to increase the value of R, the longitudinal ballast resistance mobilized at the fracture. This could be done by: . Compacting the ballast in shoulders and cribs of the bridge approach sleepers.

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Enhancing the sleeper density to 1660 Nos./km in the bridge approach. Heaping up of ballast in the bridge approach starting from the foot of the rail. Box anchoring sleepers wherever required. These measures have to be taken in the bridge approaches 50m on either side. Table 1 of the LWR Manual 1996 gives the maximum overall length of girder permitted on LWR/CWR with the following stipulations: 1. Girder bridge should have sliding bearings on each end with single span limited to 30.5m. 2. Rail should be provided with rail free fastenings throughout the length of the bridge from abutment to abutment. 3. The approach track should be suitably upgraded as mentioned above. 2) Another way of increasing the value of Lo would be to improve the approaches as mentioned above in addition to providing a few sleepers on each span with creep resistant fastenings. The creep resistant fastenings will hold the rail and prevent the gap at fracture from becoming excessive.

However, provision of creep resistant anchors implies interplay of forces between the rail and grider. Hence the following stipulations are made for bridge provided with rail free fastenings and partly box anchored (with single span not exceeding 30.5m and having sliding bearings at both ends). (1) On each span 4 central sleepers will be provided with creep resistant fastenings and remaining sleepers with rail free fastenings. (2) Bridge timbers laid on girders shall not be provided with through notch but shall be notched to accommodate the individual rivet heads. (3) The girders shall be centralized with reference to the location strips on the bearing before laying LWR/CWR. (4) The sliding bearings shall be inspected twice a year and oiling and greasing of the bearing carried out once in two years. These provisions of LWR manual are enclosed as Annexure-I.

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7.0 POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS : Primarily the problem in laying LWR over the bridges is that there is a severe limitation in the individual span length, the overall length of the bridge and the disposition/type of the bearings as per Para & 4.5.7.ii of the LWR manual. These can be partially overcome by utilizing the provisions of Para 4.5.7.iii by providing SEJs pier to pier. This restriction in the provision of the SEJ can also be overcome by continuing the LWR across the entire bridge by utilizing the provisions of Para 4.5.7.iv of the LWR manual. But from the understanding of the behavior of the LWR this implies that the SEJs have to be designed for greater movements i.e. wide gap SEJs need to be used. Already on the Indian Railways wide gap

SEJs with 190 mm gap have been approved by RDSO (Drg. No. RDSO/T-6039 & T-6262 for 52 kg. & 60 kg. Rails respectively). The limitations in the length over which LWR can be carried over bridges can be extended/overcome by undertaking a rationalized analysis of the forces and stresses as explained in this paper by utilizing the UIC code 774-3.This analysis will permit increased length of LWR that can be laid over a bridge. In fact, generally speaking, the maximum expansion length of LWR laid on bridges with ballasted deck (without expansion devices) can be 60 m for steel structures and 90 m for concrete structures. If fixed bearing is used in the middle, the above lengths can be doubled. But this is possible only in new constructions where the bridges and their bearings can be suitably designed for the above forces and constructed accordingly. Since the above limitations are for major and important bridges, for which detailed analysis and design is undertaken before hand, the analysis for forces due to LWR should also be attempted by utilizing the UIC code 774-3. On sub-urban /metro sections where the axle loads are less, since there is a relief from the axle loads and also longitudinal forces, the LWRs can be designed and provided for greater lengths over bridges.


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To prevent the transfer of forces between the LWR and bridge, improved design of zero restraint longitudinal fastenings

should be designed. In fact some trials are currently under way on the Indian Railways with steel channel sleepers and also concrete sleepers. In individual cases, where practically possible, by imposing restrictions in the braking and acceleration of the trains, extension of LWR over the bridge can be attempted. Another solution to the problem can be utilizing better quality rails with either or both increase in the sectional area or allowable stresses in the rails.

8.0 LIST OF REFERENCES: 1.Long welded rails - IRICEN/Pune. 2. UIC Code 774-3R. Track/bridge interaction-Recommendations for calculations 3.UIC Code 720-R Laying and maintenance of CWR Track. 4. Manual of instructions on Long Welded Rails 1996 5. CWR on unballasted open deck bridges Vinod Kumar


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4.5.5 Location of SEJ:

The exact location of SEJ shall be fixed taking into account the location of various obligatory points such as level crossings, girder bridges, points and crossings, gradients, curves and insulated joints. SEJ with straight tongue and stock shall not be located on curves sharper than 0.5 degree (3500 m radius) as far as possible. SEJ shall not be located on transition of curves.

4.5.6 Bridges with ballasted deck (without bearing):

LWR/CWR can be continued over bridges without bearings like slabs, box culverts and arches.

4.5.7 Bridges with/without ballasted deck

i)LWR/CWR shall not be continued over bridges with overall length as specified in para for BG and not more than 20 metre for MG. ii)Bridges on which LWR/CWR is not permitted/provided shall be isolated by a minimum length of 36 metre well anchored track on either sides. i) Bridges provided with rail-free fastenings (single span not exceeding 30.5 metre and having sliding bearings on both ends)

Overall length of the bridge should not exceed the maximum as provided in Table-1 with following stipulations:a) Rail-free fastenings shall be provided throughout the length of the bridge between abutments.


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b) The approach track upto 50 m on both sides shall be well anchored by providing any one of the following:i) ST sleepers with elastic fastening. ii) PRC sleepers with elastic rail clips with fair T or similar type creep anchors. c) The ballast section of approach track upto 50 metre shall be heaped upto the foot of the rail on the shoulders and kept in well compacted and consolidated condition during the months of extreme summer and winter. ii) Bridges provided with rail-free fastenings and partly box-anchored (with single span not exceeding 30.5 metre and having sliding bearings at both ends)
Overall length of the bridge should not exceed the maximum as provided in Table-1 with following stipulations:a) On each span, 4 central sleepers shall be box-anchored with fair V or similar type creep anchors and the remaining sleepers shall be provided with rail-free fastenings.

b) The bridge timbers laid on girders shall not be provided with through notch but shall be notched to accommodate individual rivet heads. c) The track structure in the approaches shall be laid and maintained to the standards as stated in item (i) (b) and (c) above. d) The girders shall be centralised with reference to the location strips on the bearing, before laying LWR/CWR. e) The sliding bearings shall be inspected during the months of March and October each year and cleared of all foreign materials. Lubrication of the bearings shall be done once in two years.


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rail-free fastenings and with SEJ on each pier. The rail shall be boxanchored on four sleepers at the fixed end of the girder if the girder is supported on rollers on one side and rockers on other side. In case of girder supported on sliding bearings on both sides, the central portion of the welded rails over each span shall be box-anchored on four sleepers. See Fig. iv) LWR/CWR may also be continued over a bridge with

the provision of SEJ at the far end approach of the bridge using railfree fastenings over the girder bridge (Fig. (iv)). The length of the bridge in this case, however, will be restricted by the capacity

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of the SEJ to absorb expansion, contraction and creep, if any, of the rails. The length of the bridges with the above arrangement that can

be permitted in various rail temperature zones for LWR/CWR with SEJs having maximum movement of 120 mm and 190 mm are as follows:-


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