Introduction to Steel Railway Bridge Engineering


Credit Hours:


Learning Objective:

To gain an understanding of the behavior, recognize limit states and failure modes in structural steel members and systems and unique loading criteria associated with railway bridges. To become familiar with the AREMA Manual provisions for the design of steel railway bridges.


Students should have some background in the design of steel structures including beams, columns, and connections. This course covers fundamental principles associated with the design of steel railway bridges, including lectures on loading, design considerations, tension members, compression members, flexural members, and fatigue design. At the end of the course, the student will have knowledge of relevant limit states / failure modes in steel components and structures, and a familiarity with the applicable topics in the AREMA Manual as related to the design of steel railway bridges. The students will gain experience in solving design examples and looking at applications of the fundamental concepts learned in the course.

Topics Covered:

History of railway bridge engineering; materials; planning and geometric considerations; live loads for railway bridges; analysis of railway bridges; design of tension, flexural, and compression members; bolted and riveted joints; fatigue and fracture, redundancy considerations.


Introductory undergraduate courses in mechanics of materials and steel design.

Applied / Theory:

70 / 30

Web Content:

All of the class materials will be uploaded to BlackBoard.


Approximately six to ten Homework assignments during the course.


None selected so far. To be determined.


One take home mid-term exam and one take home final exam


Official textbook information is now listed Design and Construction of Modern Steel Railway Bridges 2nd Edition by John Unsworth (CRC Press). The student will need a current copy of Chapter 15 of the AREMA Manual.

Computer Requirements:

ProEd Minimum Requirements: