Rail Bridge Structure RB01 Svilengrad, Bulgaria

Project Electrification and Reconstruction of The Rail line Svilengrad – Turkish border
Client Bulgarian National Railway Infrastructure Company
Stage Complete
Description Replacing of an old rail bridge for a new reinforced concrete structure

Fact File

Structure Precast arch combination 40 wall x 64 roof
Span 10,0m (clear)
Height 6,0m (clear)
Length 7,5m as 3 rings by 2,5m + bridge wing walls


The rail bridge RB01, which carries the rail line over a local farm road, is in close proximity to the main structure on this section - the bridge across the Maritca river. The bridge RB01 replaced an old existing bridge at the end of its lifecycle. The bridge's end stage life cycle was confirmed by taking several borehole drill samples which were then tested in a laboratory. Based on the results it was decided to demolish the old bridge and replace it with a new structure instead of refurbishing theold bridge which was initially intended.

The works had to be scheduled into a short rail possession time slot scheduled for Spring 2011. The contractor was seeking a solution to suit those requirements. The Contractor contacted ABM as they were aware of ABM's vast experience with such rail structures and because of ABM's presence in the region.

Together with the main consultant ABM prepared the design of the precast arch system CM4 combination 40 wall and 64 roof. This combination gave clear span 10m and rise 6m. The final clearance height was 5.2m at the centre line and 4.5m on the width of 6m. The bridge width is 7.5m and the clearance profile for the trains was 7.25m between the railings. Incorporated in the bridge are also special perpendicular wing walls made from the standard 40 wall element and also simple L shaped parallel walls. The elements were cast in ABM steel moulds at a local precast plant under the supervision of ABM staff. The components were delivered to site and assembled by ABM staff in just two days using a 100t crane Groove.

The day after the assembly it was possible to proceed with the waterproofing and subsequently with the backfilling. When the backfill was at the level of the roof and wall connection it was possible to place the precast parallel walls. After that the backfilling was finished and the ballast, sleepers and rails placed. All construction works on the bridge were finished in the given timeframe permissible due to the tight rail possession period and now operates well on the new rail section at the Svilengrad – Turkish border.

Click here to view a YouTube video of how ABM construct a bridge in 3 days


Key Personnel

Main Board Directors
Pat O'Neill
Sean Minihane
Brendan O'Neill


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