This study is intended to investigate the seismic response of steel monorail bridges using three-dimensional dynamic response analysis. We particularly consider monorail bridge–train interaction when subjected to ground motion that occurs with high probability. A monorail train car with two bogies with pneumatic tires for running, steering and stabilizing wheels is assumed to be represented sufficiently by a discrete rigid multi-body system with 15 degrees of freedom (DOFs). Bridges are considered as an assemblage of beam elements with 6 DOFs at each node. Modal analysis is used for dynamic response analysis under moderate earthquakes. The seismic response of an advanced monorail bridge that adopts a simplified structural system and composite girders is investigated through comparison with seismic responses of a conventional bridge. The acceleration response of a monorail train is also calculated to investigate the effect of structural types of bridges on the train's dynamic response during earthquakes. Results show that the seismic responses of the advanced bridges are greater than those of the conventional monorail bridge because of the simplified structural system and increased girder weight that is attributable to composite girders of the advanced bridge. Moreover, the train on the advanced bridge shows greater dynamic response than that on the conventional bridge. Observations reveal that the dynamic monorail train system acts as a damper on the monorail bridge. That fact shows that the existing design, which considers a train as additional mass, yields a conservative result. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.