• Infraestructuras

Environmental commitment and innovation on the Hernani railway

We have commissioned the Madrid-Irun railway line 30 days ahead of schedule. This project stands out for the wide range of especially innovative machinery and techniques used and developed for its construction, adding value to the project.


We have commissioned the Madrid-Irun railway line 30 days ahead of schedule.

"An exceptional and unparalleled human team of over 120 professionals has made this complex project a reality," explains José Rodríguez, project manager of the Hernani-Astigarraga JV Phase 2 with Sacyr Engineering and Infrastructure.

The project involved the construction of 1.54 km of high-speed track and 4.5 km of new electrified track of conventional width between the two Guipuzcoan towns. It included the construction of three viaducts and eight walls of different kinds.

"Executing a project of this nature would have been impossible without the dedication, effort, tireless work, and skill of our professionals, committed to the project right from the start," emphasizes José Rodríguez.

This project was carried out by a JV comprising Sacyr Construcción (60%), Sacyr Neopul (10%), Construcciones Mariezcurrena (15%), and Construcciones Zubieder (15%).



Cable-stayed viaduct

One of the viaducts in this section, the Hernani viaduct, is the first cable-stayed viaduct in the entire Spanish High-Speed Rail Network.

It is 482 meters long, allowing for two crossings over the Urumea River, passing under the A-15 through two cable-stayed substructures with maximum spans of 67.2 and 120 meters. The viaduct requires 108 cable stays to support the 14.5-meter-wide deck with a variable depth of up to four meters.

Over 20,000 m³ of concrete (the equivalent to eight Olympic pools) and 4,000 tons of steel were used on the viaduct build. The U-shaped section has a usable width of 10.7 meters to accommodate the double-track plate and gutters.

End of the Project

On October 30, the 1,553-meter-long right lane track section between kilometers 618+274 and 616+721 was put into service.

This milestone allowed to restore the original double-track circulation on this line, as, since March 7, 2022 circulation was limited to a single track due to construction works.

Innovation, the core of this project

This project stands out for the wide range of especially innovative machinery and techniques used and developed for its construction, adding value to the project.

Firstly, Sacyr Neopul motorized PEM-LEM track-laying solutions were used for the pre-assembly, transfer, and assembly of the escape. Among the heavy machinery used are pavers, profilers, and stabilizers, as well as the assembly teams for the overhead line.

Different solutions for deep foundations and ground improvement techniques have also been executed using innovative methods.

In addition, a complete 3D model of the entire project has been created, allowing to anticipate error and fault identification, a key and differentiating factor in proposing optimizations and improvements to the project.



Project of Marked Environmental and Sustainable Character

The entire project is framed within the public maritime-terrestrial domain zone of great ecological richness defined by the Urumea River bank, giving it a marked environmental character. To preserve the environment, the following actions have been developed:

- Over 6,000 m² of elastomeric sheets have been installed under the tracks to attenuate and minimize vibrations produced by the passage of trains. These blankets have been manufactured from recycled rubber.

- Carbon footprint during construction has been minimized by using concrete made with more sustainable cements, with a 20% reduction in emissions and more than 20% recycled materials.

- Management through ex-situ techniques of 16,807 tons of soils contaminated with organic compounds and heavy metals.

- Treatment to prevent the proliferation of allochthonous vegetation through the mechanical removal of 11,500 m² of invasive exotic species.

  • Bridges
  • Railway infrastructures
  • Train

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