Technical Cooperation for Health Monitoring of Padma Bridge Rail Track

A meeting focused on exploring suitable data collection and instrumentation methods for the health monitoring of the Padma Bridge Rail Link Project (PBRLP) was held on March 27, 2021. The meeting was attended by the director of BUET-JIDPUS, a construction supervision consultant (CSC) representative, chief and deputy chief commanding officers, and other concerned faculties of BUET-JIDPUS at the PBRLP office. The director of BUET-JIDPUS, who presided over the meeting, delivered a brief presentation on performance evaluation for the Padma Bridge rail-link track. The presentation was prepared in consideration of the three basic steps required to achieve the mission: numerical analysis, experimental study, and field study. During the meeting, BUET-JIDPUS shared ideas with the CSC about how to effectively monitor the short- and long-term health of the PBRLP by studying a comprehensive field-monitoring scheme that combines the aforementioned three-step analysis of the complete system (track, sleeper, ballast, sub-ballast, sub-grade, embankment, and bridge). In a follow-up meeting on May 11, 2021, at the PBRLP office, the director of BUET-JIDPUS, the China Railway Engineering Corporation (CREC), and the CSC representatives discussed the idea of performing dynamic testing and fatigue testing alongside static testing on sleepers as well as on a system. In these meetings, BUET-JIDPUS explained the possibility of conducting a numerical study together with laboratory and field experiments, including fatigue tests, dynamic tests, and static tests. In addition to the meetings and presentations, CSC first visited the BUET-JIDPUS facilities on May 5, 2021, and later on May 19, 2021 with CREC. In all the interactions, it was evident that the CSC and CREC’s firsthand experiences and expertise with BUET-JIDPUS’s competencies can contribute greatly to such an endeavor. BUET-JIDPUS, the CSC, and the CREC agreed in principle to explore all possible options and cooperate in these efforts toward developing the framework of such a facility testing and monitoring protocol. The necessity of such efforts was recognized overwhelmingly by all in the capacity-building program of Bangladesh’s railway sector.