April 14th, 2021 | 4 min read
It is true that trains travel more safely than cars, especially under wet weather conditions. Reliable stormwater drainage systems are, however, an important safety measure also for railroads. Recent years have seen more and more flood events due to increasingly frequent heavy downpours, which is especially problematic in urban areas. As Europe heavily invests in the extension and upgrade of the trans-European train networks, Pipelife as trusted partner for stormwater drainage solutions ensures sustainable railway safety.
Just as for highways, railroad safety depends on efficient drainage systems. Whereas water will in most cases seep through gravel around the rail tracks, not affecting tracks and traveling trains, adjacent structures such as platforms and buildings are vulnerable to water damage. In recent years, however, more and more cases of flooding in urban areas have underlined the importance of efficient stormwater drainage also for tracks. Costly flood damage repairs and traffic interruptions can be avoided or at least minimized.
Recent railway drainage projects implemented with Pipelife stormwater management systems can be found on the Baltic-Adriatic Corridor in Poland. They are implemented within the framework of reconstruction and modernization works on the 195-kilometer E59 train section Poznan Glowny – Szczecin Dabie on the Baltic-Adriatic Corridor in Poland.
Representing a bottleneck on the most important trans-European road and railway axes in Central Europe, these are co-financed by the EU funding instrument Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for transport. The implementation has a value of no less than EUR 495,300,118 for which the largest proportion is EU funded. The goal: to achieve the TEN-T Guidelines' Core Network standards by increasing capacity, train speed and improving service as well as safety for travelers.
To make sure the modernized assets last as long as possible, and to ensure reliable train service at all times, Raineo Stormwater Management Systems are installed as underground retention and infiltration tanks wherever there is no existing stormwater drainage system or natural water body to discharge larger amounts of precipitation.
Since project launch in 2018, 12 of such Pipelife Raineo® Stormwater Management Systems including all necessary adjacent drainage structures are being implemented along the railroad stretch between Poznań and Szczecin.
Consisting of a total of 8800 Raineo® Stormboxes II, the stormwater capacity of the structures amounts to 3.5 thousand cubic meters. This can be compared to the amount of water needed to fill an Olympic swimming pool (3 x 50 m x 25 m => 3.75 thousand m³).
150 corrugated inspection chambers compliment the systems, making them accessible for check-ups or for easy maintenance (water jet cleaning). Sand sedimentation tanks which are also part of the systems make sure that maintenance is kept to a minimum.
Transporting stormwater off to the next water body that is suitable as recipient, or to the next treatment plant may require kilometers of piping. With a discharge structure independent Pipelife Infiltration Systems this is not necessary. Apart from this, infiltration systems are an environmentally sustainable way to maintaining a natural water cycle despite sealed surfaces. The drained water is retained in Pipelife’s Raineo® Stormbox System and returned to the surrounding ground at controlled speed. Natural groundwater levels are this way maintained avoiding soil dehydration, subsidence and other environmental consequences. Pipelife’s piping systems for sewage and stormwater drainage applications have proven their worth to contractors and investors in numerous drainage projects in the past.
“Not all soil types and groundwater levels are suitable for infiltration systems. For us to design a stormwater management solution perfectly tailored to site conditions, we first inspect the area and conduct drainage and groundwater level tests. Taking soil permeability, expected precipitation, loads, available space, etc. into consideration we design the setup and calculate the exact size of the drainage solution”, explains Karol Marzejon, Project Manager Pipelife Poland.
The fact that Pipelife’s comprehensive Stormwater Solutions are modular in design and therefore suitable for almost any size and site layout is a benefit appreciated by contractors and clients. Service and technical support from inception to finalization are a further along with reliable top-quality products and user-friendly design.
In 2020 and alone on the Polish market Pipelife sold 96,418 Raineo® Stormboxes and a total length of 813.3 kilometers of Pragma corrugated drainage and wastewater pipes. Many of these have been applied in large-scale railway and road drainage projects such as for the Via Carpathia and the Expressway around Warsaw.
With a long track record of success, the future for Pipelife Poland as trusted partner in the railway drainage business looks promising. Until 2023, state, regional, local as well as European investments into the extension and upgrade of the national railroad amount to around 15.3 billion Euros.
E59 Upgrade Railroad Drainage
|Product lines||Stormbox II, PRO Inspection chambers|
|PRO Inspection chambers||150 pcs|
|Raineo® Stormbox II (infiltration)||8,800 pcs|
|Client||Polish State Railways (PKP, Polskie Koleje Państwowe)|
Trakcja PRKiI S.A. (main contractor), SCHWEERBAU GmbH & Co. KG Bauunternehmen, SBM Sp. z o.o. sp.k.