Consequence-Based Framework for Infrastructure Management

Current North American railroads maintenance, repair, and replacement (MRR) decisions are informed by bridge inspections and ratings, which recommend observing the response of bridges under trains. However, an objective relationship between bridge responses and the associated impact to railroad operations has yet to be established. This work develops an approach for consequence-based management of bridge networks for making network MRR decisions, employing fragility curves to relate service condition limit-states to transverse displacement. The operational costs associated with these service conditions can estimate the total costs of a given MRR policy. In this way, optimum MRR decisions can minimize the total network costs. This framework provides a consistent approach for the prioritization of railroad bridge MRR decisions.