Taradale Viaduct Load Rating Assessment

Kinsley Group was engaged by V/Line to undertake a load rating assessment of the historically significant Taradale Viaduct located along the Bendigo Rail Corridor.

The purpose of the load rating investigation was to determine if the current speed restrictions could be lifted on the bridge structure for the operation of G-Class locomotives.

The Taradale Viaduct was originally constructed in 1862 and consisted of four (4) riveted wrought iron box girders supporting two tracks that were continuous over 5 spans, longitudinal timber deck spanning between the wrought iron cross girders and a masonry substructure consisting of bluestone block work. The span lengths of the original bridge were 130 foot (39.598m) and the original bridge structure supported C-Class locomotives at a line speed of 60m/h (97km/h).

In 1933 the viaduct superstructure was strengthened by the addition of five (5) steel trestle pier structures that effectively reduced the 130 foot spans to 65 foot (19.799m) following the findings of a load rating investigation study completed in 1931.

In order to determine the structural adequacy of the bridge structure to support G-Class locomotive loading at line speed, Kinsley Group undertook extensive site inspections, rigorous structural analysis including 3D computer modelling using SPACEGASS, design capacity computations and the development of a load rating assessment report to document the findings and recommendations for V/Line’s consideration.