Railway lines have several challenges in their construction and maintenance, particularly ones related to the path layout conditions. Railway tracks allow for a gradient of between 1.5% and 3% and this means that, when the route enters a mountainous terrain, tunnels, slopes or trenches must be designed.
To save space in a short and steep slopes some wellknown solutions are used such as tunnels rack designed for slopes of up to 15%, or funiculars, mixed a choice between cable and rail transport. On certain occasions, unique and very creative proposals are used such as the famous Túnel del Cargol in the FGC line of Adif de Ripoll-Puigcerdà, a helical tunnel with a radius of 230 meters that allows the train to go 48.60 meters up (or down) in little space, or “The Zig-Zag” of the PeruRail train, a series of five curves that allow to save a difference of 400 meters in less than 5km, to approach the passengers of Cusco to Machu Picchu.
When due to the characteristics of the terrain there is no possibility of building tunnels, one of the most common options is to build trenches, leaving a slope on one or both sides of the train. Some lines, built in the early or during the first half of the twentieth century when construction technologies were less developed and earthmoving and excavations were more limited, created a set of trenches with very small gauges and almost no guard ditches. Therefore, in the event of landslides or rocks, the trains in circulation are trapped and the risk of serious accidents is greater.
To minimize geological risks, protection actions begin during the construction of the railway line. In the past, masonry walls were used as a way to protect the face of the slope and thus prevent the erosion and weathering of the materials of the most superficial layer, but today we have made great progress in this field. Now, with the help of new technologies, we apply systematic bolting that superficially distributes the efforts transmitted by the terrain either with flexible solutions of steel mesh or more rigid concrete projection. In cases where the slopes or slopes are large, we use passive solutions for interception of rock falls such as dynamic barriers.
Our specialty in vertical work and our drilling equipment adapted to the slopes, allows us to be very agile and offer, on railways with very limited accessibility or complex access logistics, flexible and lightweight technical solutions that allow us to work at a reduced cost.
In addition to the stabilization of slopes, we have the knowledge and training to carry out other work of vertical geotechnics in environments of high corrosivity such as the maritime and installation of infrastructures in places of reduced access. , such as emergency stairs or funicular drainage systems.