Professor Martyn Pavier, University of Bristol

Failure of Cast Iron Railway Bridges
When Oct 21, 2013
from 02:00 PM to 03:00 PM
Where LR8
Contact Name
Contact Phone 01865 283302
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In the early days of the railways cast iron girder bridges were commonly used to take railways across roads and rivers. These bridges could be substantial structures. Following a series of failures a Royal Commission was appointed which reported in 1847 with the main conclusion that cast iron bridges should be replaced.  Nevertheless, the famous Staplehurst accident in 1865, almost 20 years later, was aggravated by the failure of the cast iron bridge the train was crossing when it derailed. In this talk I'll describe the history of the use of cast iron in railway bridges, look at the design calculations used at the time and comment on their validity in the light of modern understanding.