Workshop on Masonry Arch Bridges 2019 University of Pécs, HUNGARY, 17-18 october 2019

Assessment of Masonry Arch Bridges

There are over 200.000 masonry arch bridges and culverts in the European railways network that represent almost 50% of the total bridge stock in Europe with an inestimable asset value. Most of these bridges are over 100 years old and would be considered to have reached the end of their theoretical service lives if compared against current design codes.

Masonry arch bridges have however stood the test of time and proved to be highly sustainable long-lasting structures not only with high aesthetic value but considerable resilience and capacity reserve.

Appropriate management of masonry arches is a key to maintaining them in a safe and serviceable condition. Infrastructure managers and bridge engineers have to find ways to preserve these beautiful bridges in a manner that will allow them to continue to serve their function, without alterations to their appearance or architectural integrity.

To respond to these requirements, UIC has carried out a project on ‘Masonry Arch Bridges’, published the IRS 70778-3 “Recommendations for the inspection, assessment and maintenance of masonry arch bridges” and already performed two workshops for dissemination.

Renowned bridge experts and scientific researchers will present main outcomes of the project, focusing on:

  1. Structural behaviour
  2. Deterioration, inspection, monitoring
  3. Assessment
  4. Serviceability, permissible load, life expectancy
  5. Repair, strengthening, extension of service life
  6. Further research activities for sustainability

This third workshop is likely to be of great interest to railway and road infrastructure owners, asset managers, bridge engineers and contractors, responsible for the inspection, assessment and maintenance of masonry arch bridges in the transport network.

This workshop will be held on 17 and 18 October 2019 at the University of Pécs (HUNGARY). It is organised during the MIK Partners’ day, a sustainability event organised by the University of Pécs.

Please see the draft details of this very interesting event under the following link:—special-sessions

Thus, you have the possibility to participate on 17 October in the mornings plenary session on “Structures and Sustainability” and continue in the afternoon by enjoying our UIC Workshop on Masonry Arch Bridges.


Programme Day 1 – 17/10/2019

09.00 - 10.00: Registration

10.00 - 12.00: Official opening and plenary session

  • Welcome speeches MIK 4.0, Awards (Leaders of the University G. Medvegy, Dean)
  • Quality in architecture (ÉMI - Technical Assessment and Innovation)
  • Solar Decathlon 2019 - Creation of energy-efficient home (T. Kondor)
  • Engineering research and education for sustainable development (Z. Orban)

12.00 - 13.00: Buffet lunch

13.00 - 14.45: 1st session: STRUCTURES AND SUSTAINABILITY
Chairman: Zoltán Orbán, University of Pécs

  • Doing more with less: optimisation-driven conceptual design of structures (M. Gilbert)
  • Safety of Reinforced Concrete Bridges dating back to the ’50s and ’60s: case studies, degradation, maintenance and future strategies (A. Brencich)
  • Innovative solutions for the preservation of heritage masonry structures (J. Martín-Caro)
  • Analysis and retrofitting existing structures to improve seismic resistance (I. Guljasa)
  • Discussions

14.45 - 15.00: Coffee Break

15.00 - 16.30: 2nd session: UIC WORKSHOP ON MASONRY ARCH BRIDGES
Chairmen: Zoltán Orbán, University of Pécs and Harald Sattler, UIC

  • Welcome & introduction of invited speakers (H. Sattler, UIC)
  • General Information on the Masonry Arch Bridges project (Z. Orban)
  • Structural behaviour (W. Harvey)
  • Deterioration, inspection, monitoring (J. Martín-Caro, Z. Orban)

16.30 - 16.45: Coffee break

16.45 - 18.00: Assessment (W. Harvey, M. Gilbert, A. Brencich)

18.30: Social Dinner*

* Social Dinner will be free of charge for UIC members participating in the UIC Masonry Arch Bridges Workshop.
For other participants Dinner will be charged 30€.

Programme Day 2 – 18/10/2019

08.30 - 13:00: 3rd session: UIC WORKSHOP ON MASONRY ARCH BRIDGES
Chairmen: Zoltán Orbán, University of Pécs and Harald Sattler, UIC

08.30-10.30: Serviceability, permissible load, life expectancy (M. Gilbert, J. Martín-Caro, A. Tomor)

10.30-11.00: Coffee break

11.00-12.20: Repair, strengthening, extension of service life (J. Martín-Caro, A. Brencich)
12.20-13.00: Further research for sustainability, discussions

13.00-14.00: Buffet lunch

The Workshop on Masonry Arch Bridges is organised in collaboration between the University of Pécs and the International Union of Railways (

Practical information

How to get from Budapest Liszt Ferenc Airport to the University of Pécs:

1. By Airport Shuttle

You can take an Airport Minibus shuttle that directly goes to Pécs. Reservation is required in advance. This is the most convenient way of travelling and it costs approx. HUF 9,000 (≈ EUR 30). There are several main companies which offer airport shuttle from Budapest to Pécs:

Estimated travel duration: about 2:30 h

2. By train

Another option for travelling from Budapest to Pécs is the train. Ask the taxi or the Airport Minibus driver to take you to the Keleti Pályaudvar ("Eastern Railway station" in Hungarian). From there you can travel to Pécs by an Inter-City (IC) train. You can find the IC timetable on the website at: The full fare for a 2nd class ticket with seat reservation will cost about HUF 4,500 (approx. EUR 15). You are advised to take an IC instead of the regular train because IC’s are much faster and more comfortable than regular trains.

Estimated travel duration: about 3:40 h from Keleti station to Pécs station

3. By car

Foreigners driving a car to Hungary are required to hold a valid international driving licence. Car registration and insurance papers are also compulsory. All the recommended hotels offer free car parking. Driving is on the right-hand side and the seatbelt is mandatory. The speed limit within residential areas is 50 km/h, 90 km/h for secondary roads, 110 km/h for highways and 130 km/h for motorways.

Estimated travel duration: about 2:30 h

The venue:

University of Pécs, Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology
7624 Pécs, Boszorkány út 2.

Selection of hotels in the area of the University of Pécs

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