Published: 2016-01-13

Properties of steel in railway bridge constructed in 1887

Janusz Hołowaty , Bernard Wichtowski


A number of 19th century steel railroad bridges are still in operation. Mechanical and metallurgical properties of steel in such bridges, and also its durability, have not been sufficiently studied, and these can vary considerably. This paper presents the results of analysis of mechanical parameters as well as the method used to determine the design strength of a plate girder railway bridge, which has been in operation for almost 130 years. The tests were carried out on the structural steel samples cut from dismounted floor stringers in end-of-life condition due to extensive corrosion. The grade and quality of the structural steel were determined and used in the design of the bridge repair project in order to keep it in operation. The method of steel evaluation as presented in this paper can be applied in other repairs and retrofitting of old railway bridges.


ageing of steel, cast steel, chemical composition, infrastructure ageing, mechanical properties, railroad bridge, weldability

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Hołowaty, J., & Wichtowski, B. (2016). Properties of steel in railway bridge constructed in 1887. Roads and Bridges - Drogi I Mosty, 14(4), 271–283.

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