The UIC Panel of Structural Experts (PoSE) held its autumn meeting this year in Istanbul, Turkey. TCDD invited the members to hold the meeting in Istanbul and provided a visit to the construction site of the third Bosporus Bridge and another bridge in line with the same project.
On Tuesday 8 September 2015 the meeting took place with 18 participants of PoSE and some Turkish guests at the Dedeman Bostanci Hotel on the Asian side of Istanbul. The Director of the First Region of TCDD welcomed the members in Istanbul.
The PoSE discussed two important leaflets which were revised and updated by two working groups. The drafts were distributed to the member organisations for comments and the approval was expected at the meeting. Leaflet 778-3 was approved with some minor changes and will be presented at the next General Assembly for publication.
Leaflet 778-2 received some more detailed comments which need additional discussion. The approval was therefore postponed to the next meeting in Paris. The discussion during the meeting showed the importance of necessary exchanges between the different members to have a clear and common understanding of the content of the leaflet.
At the meeting it was also decided to have a new working group for the assessment of tunnels. This will be led by the French colleagues.
Due to the finalisation of some European working groups and the issue of the new TSI at the beginning of the year, there is currently no ongoing project in this area. New projects may be prepared for the future.
Some other information about European and international working items were given.
The Turkish colleagues provided a wonderful dinner on the TCDD training premises directly on the Bosporus with a good view of the Prince Islands.
On the next day a visit of the construction site of the third Bosporus Bridge was provided. This is a new combined suspension and cable-stayed bridge with three lines of motorway in each direction and a double track railway line in the middle of the deck. It is scheduled to have mixed traffic, with passenger trains running at 160 km/h and freight trains at up to 80 km/h.
UIC PoSE was asked in 2013 to support the designers in defining the basic parameters for the railway operations of this combined bridge. Therefore it was very interesting for the PoSE members to hear the results of the design process and to see the construction on site. Currently the towers and the first hundred metres at both sites of the Bosporus are built and the whole bridge will be finished for the construction in 2016. The equipment for the roads and railway will then continue.
Later on there was a visit to another road bridge under construction. It was good luck to visit the site during the launching process, seeing the move forward of the whole deck and the different parts of the process.
After returning to the hotel, the group concluded a remarkable day with many impressions, starting with overcrowded and congested motorways, seeing wonderful bridges and experiencing congested motorways once more in the afternoon in the other direction.
The third day was another meeting day. The last open questions were concluded, a venue for the next year’s meeting was defined and as usual the first draft of the minutes was discussed.
The meeting ended before lunch with a big thank you to the Turkish colleagues for the invitation, organisation and the technical visits.