Emergency Railroad Bridge Inspections

Upcoming dates (1)

Available online anytime


Course Overview

Emergency railroad bridge incidents happen without warning, often far from the railroad bridge inspector's home base and at unusual hours. This course makes it possible for a broad range of highly capable employees to act as competent observers, so they can relay critical information to an offsite railroad bridge expert. Frontline MOW employees, managers, consultants, and individuals involved with railroad infrastructure and security can all benefit from this short online course that introduces you to the technical, procedural, and safety aspects of emergency railroad bridge inspection.

At the completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Act as a competent observer capable of providing data during an emergency situation, so that a remote railroad bridge expert will be able to quickly and confidently act upon that information.
  • Identify critical components based on your acquired knowledge of railroad bridge terminology.
  • Recall how railroad bridges work and identify critical defects.
  • Recall the different types of emergent events (flood, fire, collision, and earthquake) and identify how each emergent event affects a railroad bridge.

For a more comprehensive learning experience on the topic of railroad bridge inspections it is recommended you take our Fundamentals of Railroad Bridge Inspection course. Through classroom training and a hands-on field trip, you will learn about the inspector's responsibilities, compliance with regulations (FRA 214 and FRA 237), training requirements, and the different types of inspections (with the focus on periodic inspections). Timber, steel, concrete, moveable bridges, and culverts are covered.

Who Should Attend?

  • Bridge engineers, inspectors, and supervisors
  • Railroad engineers, managers, and supervisors
  • Railroads, consultants, contractors, and agencies

Previous general railroad experience and an understanding of FRA regulations regarding roadway worker protection and bridge worker safety is recommended.

Additional Information

Online Course

This is an asynchronous self-paced online course complete with recorded presentations/lectures, readings and resources, and quizzes to facilitate learning. All assignments and course interactions will utilize online technologies and require active student participation.

Course Outline


Bridge Phsyics and Nomenclature


General Procedures

Flood Inspection

Fire Inspection

Collision Inspection

Earthquake Inspection



Peter Schierloh

Peter Schierloh, PE, has worked with railroad bridges for over twenty years and currently is a design Project Engineer with SW Bridge Engineers, LLC based in DeForest, Wisconsin, a position he has held since the company was formed in 2007. As a Project Engineer he has been involved in the inspection, design, and rating of railroad bridges throughout the United States. Prior to the formation of SW Bridge Engineers, Peter worked for SW's parent company, E80 Plus Constructors, LLC, as a construction Project Engineer responsible for the management of railroad bridge construction projects. Peter graduated Michigan Technological University in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering. He is a registered professional engineer is several states and is currently an active member of AREMA Committee 10.

Upcoming dates (1)

Program Director

Dave Peterson

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