Tuesday 7 July 2020

UIC’s Track & Structures sector publishes first edition of IRS 70719 "Earthworks and track bed layers for railway lines – Design and construction principles”

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UIC Leaflets 719 “Earthworks and track bed for railway lines” and 722 “Methods of improving the track formation of existing lines” are being reviewed in the framework of the update and migration plan of UIC leaflets for the Track & Structures sector.

An ad-hoc committee of technical experts for this task has been formed with representatives of different UIC members of the most important UIC European member railway administrations, such as Spain (ADIF), Belgium (Infrabel), Italy (RFI), Czech Republic (SZ), France (SNCF Reseau), UK (Network Rail) and Germany (Deutsche Bahn), and also from Asian members such as CARS and East Japan Railways.
This task is also overseen by both the UIC TEG (Track Experts Group) and PoSE (Panel of Structural Experts), so as to ensure that the update reflects the state-of-the-art of the subjects and coherence with the different international and national standards.

An initial output of the work already advanced by the IRS 70719 "Earthworks and track bed layers for railway lines – Design and construction principles” has been published and has therefore been in force since the end of June 2020. This document provides an integral approach to the subject that expands from the EN 16907 and the applicable Eurocodes including definitions, principles and general rules for the design of earthworks to be used in railway lines to support track bed layers.

Nevertheless, references in the IRS to values present in an EN standard even if they are intended for infrastructure managers within the CEN member states, can also be recommendations for infrastructure managers in non-CEN member states unless national or regional standards apply.

In this context, earthworks may be defined as a civil engineering process aimed at creating earth structures by changing the geometry of the ground surface, either by constructing an embankment or excavating a cutting.
The update of the document has consisted of almost 90 pages with a content that covers the following areas:

  • Definition of a cross section of a railway track (for ballasted and ballastless track)
  • Classification of materials for construction of new railway tracks
    • for embankments and prepared subgrade (soils and rocks)
    • present in cuttings
    • for frost protection layer
    • for sub-ballast layer
    • for ballast layer
  • Design principles and criteria for new lines
  • Transitions between structures and earthworks
  • Construction procedures and quality control

This document can be found in the UIC ETF-Shop at the following link:
A special mention must be made for all the UIC staff involved over the last few years in achieving this new IRS, especially for T&S advisors Harald Sattler, and David Villalmanzo Resusta as lead coordinator.

For further information please contact David Mirayo, Infrastructure and TTI Senior Advisor: mirayo@uic.org

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Members of the UIC update leaflets 719-722 ad-hoc committee
Cross section for an embankment