In this paper the ride quality of a vehicle traversing an elevated guideway is related directly to guideway construction tolerances and design parameters. Moreover, the construction tolerances are modeled in terms familiar to a guideway contractor. The tolerances modeled for an elevated, two-span semicontinuous, concrete guideway are: surface finish, camber deviations, pier survey errors, and pier settlement. The major design parameters relating to live-load deflection, stiffness (material and cross-section), and pier spacing are included. A general technique is presented for relating these tolerances to vehicle ride quality by means of a digital computer simulation. Various ride quality criteria are considered, including rms acceleration, acceleration spectral density, acceleration frequency decomposition, and a deterministic state space boundary. Numerical results are presented for a particular vehicle-guideway configuration and as such are valid only for the system considered. It is shown that for this system, equivalent ride quality can be maintained while adjusting the various construction tolerances. This trade-off capability allows the contractor to choose the least costly combination of tolerance parameters.

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