Wednesday 1 February 2023

UIC publishes IRS 70778-4: Defects in railway bridges and procedures for maintenance

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The UIC Panel of Structural Experts (PoSE) is delighted to announce that IRS 70778-4, which provides guidelines and recommendations covering the procedures for maintaining and strengthening railway bridges, has been published.

The IRS covers the following areas:

  • General applications of railway bridge inspections: management and assessment procedures and the type of inspections required in terms of precision and frequency.
  • Defects in existing bridges: detecting and measuring defects for masonry, steel and concrete railway bridges, bearings and foundations.
  • Testing, processing methods and sensors for railway bridge monitoring.
  • Methods for load and resistance assessments.
  • Maintenance, repair, strengthening, and renewal procedures.

The IRS now also encompasses new inspection tools for railway bridges such as the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, which aim to reduce infrastructure maintenance costs and the impact on operational safety. Therefore, a special mention has to go out to the UIC Drone4Rail Working Group, as well as to the experts from PoSE, and the UIC staff involved in the production of this new IRS, and especially the RFI team headed by Andrea Vecchi.

Link to the IRS:

For further information please contact Jesús Palma, Junior Advisor Infrastructure, at

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