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Experimental investigation of railway train-induced vibrations of surrounding ground and a nearby multi-story building

Xia He1 , Chen Jianguo1 , Wei Pengbo1 , Xia Chaoyi1 , G. De Roeck2 and G. Degrande2

  1. School of Civil Engineering, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing 100044, China
  2. Department of Civil Engineering, Catholic University of Leuven, B-3001, Heverlee, Belgium

Abstract: In this paper, a field experiment was carried out to study train-induced environmental vibrations. During the field experiment, velocity responses were measured at different locations of a six-story masonry structure near the Beijing-Guangzhou Railway and along a small road adjacent to the building. The results show that the velocity response levels of the environmental ground and the building floors increase with train speed, and attenuate with the distance to the railway track. Heavier freight trains induce greater vibrations than lighter passenger trains. In the multi-story building, the lateral velocity levels increase monotonically with floor elevation, while the vertical ones increase with floor elevation in a fluctuating manner. The indoor floor vibrations are much lower than the outdoor ground vibrations. The lateral vibration of the building along the direction of weak structural stiffness is greater than along the direction with stronger stiffness. A larger room produces greater floor vibrations than the staircase at the same elevation, and the vibration at the center of a room is greater than at its corner. The vibrations of the building were compared with the Federal Transportation Railroad Administration (FTA) criteria for acceptable ground-borne vibrations expressed in terms of rms velocity levels in decibels. The results show that the train-induced building vibrations are serious, and some exceed the allowance given in relevant criterion.

Keywords: train; building; ground; environmental vibration; field experiment

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Copyright© 2009 IEM. Journal of Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Vibration. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise, except as described below, without written permission from the Publisher. Copying of articles is not permitted except for personal and internal use, to the extent permitted by national copyright law, or under the terms of a license issued by the National Reproduction Rights Organization of China.