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An innovative & eco-sustainable railway sleeper

March 2019
Gallery Greenrail 1
Gallery Greenrail 1


Innovative and sustainable railway sleepers, which improve the technical performance of railway infrastructure, contribute to waste management, and are able to produce clean energy.

Greenrail is composed of an inner core in concrete and an outer shell obtained from a mix of recycled plastics and rubber collected from end-of-life tires. This unique technology allows to reuse up to 35 tonnes of above-mentioned waste materials per each kilometer of a railway line, providing a solution to fast-growing urban waste management issue. Apart from this environmental contribution, Greenrail's composition ensures various technical improvements of the sleeper's performance, compared to the current standard concrete sleepers. In particular, the product reduces vibration and noise levels of train traffic, requires less ordinary maintenance, and has an increased lifespan.The outer shell protects the inner core in concrete from destructive impact of various weather conditions and allows the sleeper to be implemented in territories severe climate features. In addition, it allows to integrate various smart systems in its structure, such as a PV panel for solar energy harvesting. This would transform the railway from a passive infrastructure into an active energy-producing asset.

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Label Date March 14, 2019
From Italy
Maturity stage Small scale commercialization
Looking For Projects, potential partners to widen international network, visibility,

Implementation Stories

Greenrail by Greenrail S.r.l.
Implemented by Ferrovie Emilia Romagna in Emilia Romagna Region (Italy) in 2018

Thanks to a European grant of over 2 million euros, the company responsible for the Greenrail Solution was able to produce and test sleepers meeting European EN standards, suitable for high-speed, heavily-loaded lines. In 2018, a first kilometer-long section of track, made up of Greenrail sleepers, was built. This achievement was made possible thanks to collaboration with Ferrovie Emilia Romagna, a rail transport company managing regional lines in Italy. The sleepers used on this stretch of track comprise several elements: Greenrail Solar, which transforms the railway infrastructure into a photovoltaic field producing 35 MWh/km per year; Greenrail LinkBox, which integrates real-time diagnostics, predictive maintenance, safety and telecommunication systems; Greenrail Piezo, which integrates piezoelectric diagnostic systems.


In all, over 35 tonnes of waste were recycled and used in the manufacture of these sleepers.


The environmental benefits

  • Allows to reuse up to 35 tons of plastic and end-of-life tyres per kilometre
  • A unique outer shell is recyclable at the end of its life
  • Capable of integrating systems for clean energy production.
  • Reduction of vibration & noise levels deriving from railway traffic

The Financial benefits

  • Valorisation of waste
  • Less maintenance needed
  • Competitive price

Activity Region

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  • Headquarters
  • Activity

Company Profile

Greenrail S.r.l.

Innovative and eco-sustainable railway sleepers made of concrete, recycled plastic and rubber from End-of-Life Tyres.

View company profile
Headquarters 00187 Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy
Contact the Solution Provider Add to Favorites

The information set out above, is solely for the purposes of information and the Solar Impulse Foundation does not provide any guarantee as to its authenticity, completeness or accuracy. This information does not constitute investment advice or a recommendation to buy into, transact or to enter into any agreement with any of the parties or persons mentioned above. Potential investors or interested parties are solely responsible for their investment or business decisions and for performing any due diligence required by the circumstances. The innovator Greenrail S.r.l. has asserted ownership of the intellectual property rights for images, videos, and content showcased above, affirming full and unrestricted usage rights, and has provided explicit permission for the Solar Impulse Foundation to publish such information designated as "public" in the application form.