rail bridges

Rail Bridges Repair Info

Inspectors often find hundreds of rail bridges need extensive repair. Inspectors also discovered corrosion in concrete pillars, steel anchor plates, rusting girders, and other holes that allow debris to fall through the structure. All of these problems led inspectors to declare some of the bridges in “fair” condition, a higher rating than structural weakness. They said that, given their inspection findings and information from public reports, the bridges ranked as “functionally obsolete.” The condition of the bridges was cited as the cause of the change in ranking, according to the railroad. Rail bridge repairs, it said, are part of the railroad’s overall improvement plan.

In January, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released the results of its investigation of the Norfolk Southern Railway bridge collapse. The investigation revealed that the railroad was not using state-of-the-art equipment in its inspection and maintenance activities. Inspectors also found that the railroad had not inspected the three main spans as recommended by the American Society for Testing and Materials, nor did it perform a complete visual examination of each span. The NTSB found that the railroad did not use high-quality tools and equipment to inspect the rail bridges and recommended that it install them.

The NTSB report was released following the tragic death of 35-year-old Jennifer Czajkowski of New Jersey on July 14, as she crossed the train bridge between Washington, D.C., and Virginia. The bridge, which is part of the rail line, collapsed shortly after the accident. It is currently under investigation. There were several factors that contributed to the collapse, including an uneven soil topography, inadequate slope, poor workmanship, and improper maintenance and inspections. Because of this investigation, the railroad will make changes to improve its work practices and implement the recommended inspection and maintenance procedures to ensure that its bridges are in safe condition. The NTSB has also recommended that the railroad conduct a similar investigation into the conditions of the rail bridges at the railroad’s Yorktown, W.Va. Station.

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