Expected outcomes of InBridge4EU

Harmonization of standards and working methods:

  • One of the main outcomes of this project consists of proposing recommendations related to the several WSs addressed in this call topic to revise and upgrade the current normative documents related with bridge dynamics, namely INF TSI [2], EN 15528 [4], EN 1990-Annex A2 [5] and EN 1991-2 [6].
  • More accurate prediction of performance indicators during circulation on railway bridges will be achieved.
  • More accurate bridge dynamic parameters and bridge design criteria with a stronger scientific background, thus reducing the level of empiric criteria and decision-making.
  • Encouragement for a stronger cooperation between researchers and regulatory bodies, particularly ERA/CEN.

Increase sustainability and capacity of railway network

  • Following the specifications to be proposed in InBridge4EU, more accurate prediction of performance indicators during circulation on railway bridges will be made, which can directly influence maintenance costs deferred over time and indirectly the comfort of passengers.
  • The infrastructure improvements to be achieved will give an important boost to the shift of typical passenger and freight movements, leading to the transference of existing traffic in highly polluting modes of transport (e.g. road) to railway within the admissible viability range.

Build databases of structural and rolling stock information

  • The experimental and numerical information, to be provided by several partners within the scope of the WPs, will allow the systematisation and organisation of databases with future utility for the development of new research projects and engineering tasks related to the design of new bridges and the assessment of the structural integrity of existing ones.

Change the bridge management decision fundamentals

  • Innovation in normative documents, supported by methods of analysis to be proposed within the framework of InBridge4EU, as well as the organisation of databases, will contribute to adopt a decision-making philosophy concerning the management of the bridge landscape following a more scientific and informed strategy, avoiding the design of critical policies based on assumptions without grounding in the reality of the infrastructure.

Target groups benefited by the project

  • In addition to the partners that compose of the consortium and parties involved in research activities within EU-Rail, other important actors must be aware of the project developments, aiming to maximise the benefits for the railway community. Those are: 

    • Railway Operation Managers 
    • Railway Supply Industry
    • Research Institutions: 
    • Railway associations and federations, regulatory bodies, public authorities, in particular ERA and CEN

Contribution to the expected outputs and impacts defined in ERA Technical Note

InBridge4EU aims to contribute to specific impacts addressed in the ERA Technical Note on work needed for closing TSI open points on bridge dynamics, namely:

Expected impacts referred in the call topic InBridge4EU contribution
Harmonization of the codes and standards and of working methods over time related to engineering activities, which will influence the structural assessment of new and existing bridges.
The proposal of new methods for assessment of the structural integrity of bridges will lead to the harmonization over time of working methods related to engineering activities, which will influence the structural assessment of new and existing structures.
European decision-making policies related to railway bridge management should be carried out on similar grounds.
The abovementioned code and standard harmonization will also contribute to consolidate a trend in different European countries towards the adoption of a decision-making policy based on similar grounds.
New strategies to analyse and evaluate the performance of existing structures.
New analysis methods will create mechanisms to safely optimise the lifetime not only of new structures, but also existing bridges, maximising installed railway capacity by reducing the need for direct investment in new structures, following a logic of sustainable use of material resources.
Development of wide databases of rolling stock and bridges representative of the European railway reality.
This project will contribute with the development of Europe-wide databases of both rolling stock and bridges that will benefit the final users, which in this case will be mainly the Infrastructure Managers.
Europe-wide harmonised definition of the limits of validity of static compatibility checks.
WP1 will have a considerable impact in this regard, in which the limits of validity for static compatibility checks stipulated in EN 15528 [4] will be addressed by assessing existing data from dynamic train-infrastructure compatibility checks (rolling stock) from the railway network. Such a harmonised definition will significantly ease the job of Infrastructure Managers for checking if the train-bridge compatibility can be performed only in the static domain or if it requires dynamic analysis.
Cheaper and more optimized bridge solutions in the future
The enhanced criteria that may arise from the research carried out within the project (e.g. dynamic factors in WP3, damping in WP4 and deck acceleration limit in WP5) should certainly lead to cheaper and more optimized bridge solutions, both in terms of new structures as in terms of existing ones.