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This paper proposes a new axle detection methodology using direct strain measurements. Initially, numerical analyses are carried out on a 1-D simply supported bridge structure to investigate the strain response of a bridge to a 2-axle moving vehicle. The strain response obtained from the numerical model is further studied and a new axle detection strategy, based on the second derivative of strain with respect to time, is proposed. Having developed the theoretical concept, field testing is carried out on a single span simply supported railway bridge to validate the proposed methodology and test its robustness of on a full-scale bridge.