Scoping assessment of building vibration induced by railway traffic

Daniel López-Mendoza, Antonio Romero, David Connolly, Pedro Galvin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)
35 Downloads (Pure)


This work presents a scoping model to predict ground-borne railway vibration levels within buildings considering soil-structure interaction (SSI). It can predict the response of arbitrarily complex buildings in a fraction of the time typically required to analyse a complex SSI problem, and thus provides a practical tool to rapidly analyse the vibration response of numerous structures near railway lines. The tool is designed for use in cases where the ground-borne vibration is known, and thus can be used as model input. Therefore in practice, for the case of a new line, the ground motion can be computed numerically, or alternatively, for the case of new buildings to be constructed near an existing line, it can be recorded directly (e.g. using accelerometers) and used as model input. To achieve these large reductions in computational time, the model discretises the ground-borne vibration in the free field into a frequency range corresponding to the modes that characterize the dynamic building response. After the ground-borne response spectra that corresponds with the incident wave field is estimated, structural vibration levels are computed using modal superposition, thus avoiding intensive soil-structure interaction computations. The model is validated using a SSI problem and by comparing results against a more complex finite element-boundary element model. Finally, the new scoping model is then used to analyse the effect of soil properties, building height, train speed and distance between the building and the track on structural-borne vibration. The results show that the scoping model provides a powerful tool for use during the early design stages of a railway system when a large number of structures require analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-161
Number of pages15
JournalSoil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering
Early online date20 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017


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