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Groundwater protection in railway maintenance areas

Project information

Project name

Train station Schärding


Schärding, AT


Austrian Railway (ÖBB)

Project details

Project description and challenge

Greases and oils used as operating fluids in railway Transportation can pose a threat to the groundwater. In parking Areas which are used prior or after maintenance, the probability of a contamination is increased. If contamination occurs the gravel and possibly the different layers below the tracks have to be remediated. This operation can be very expensive and consume time and effort.


In order to significantly reduce the danger of contamination a active geocomposite was installed at the Austrian Railway (ÖBB) station in Schärding as preventing measure. The geocomposite was fixed to the sleepers so that any grease and oil could be absorbed by the active layer, preventing contamination below. For a quick and easy installation the material was delivered in units of three rolls. One roll with a total width of 1.40 m and two rolls with 0.35 m width. The rolls only had to be unrolled and fixed to the sleepers on site.


The product combines a high-performance, oil-absorbing polymer with the mechanical stability of geotextiles. Apart from

extending the application range and service life of the constituent polymer, the resulting active geocomposite can also be readily adapted to meet challenging project-specific requirements.