Startup name: Greenrail Group Srl
Registered Office: Italy, Roma
Established in: 1/11/2012
Startup Category: Circular Economy
Competitions/Prizes won: (Startup Italia Open Summit Best Startup 2017, Grant Thornton Best Industry Startup 2017, Premio per lo Sviluppo Sostenibile 2016)
Founders: Giovanni Maria De Lisi
Greenrail is an Italian SME, which designs and produces innovative and eco-sustainable railway sleepers. Made of an inner core in prestressed concrete and an outer shell obtained from a mix of recycled plastics and end-of-life tires, they ensure numerous environmental, technical and economic advantages, compared to the current standard solution, i.e. concrete sleeper.
Greenrail sleepers’ outer shell has a damping effect, which makes the railway track more elastic and entails the reduction of noise and vibration levels (up to 40% in the railways’ vicinity), better train’s load’s distribution, and lower ballast pulverization. Their unique composition also increases the electrical insulation and reduces the maintenance need of the whole railway up to 50%, providing important cost savings for railway lines’ operators.
From the environmental point of view, Greenrail, following the principles of the circular economy, permits a significant contribution to the waste management issue. Each kilometer of a railway line constructed with Greenrail sleepers allows reusing up to 35 tons of ELTs and recycled plastics – materials that often end up in landfills or, even worse, oceans. Greenrail uses waste as resource and manufactures a better performing product.
Last, but not least, apart from the basic product, Greenrail has developed also smart railway sleepers, turning railway infrastructure from a passive to an active one. Greenrail Solar incorporates solar panels in its structure, transforming the railway line into a photovoltaic field, with a production capacity of 35 MWh per kilometer per year. The second smart sleeper is called Greenrail LinkBox and uses the energy harvested by Solar sleepers to power various systems for predictive maintenance, real-time track diagnosis, telecommunication, and security. The first Greenrail smart railway track for testing activities has been realized together with FER (Ferrovie Emilia Romagna) in Reggio Emilia and was presented in September 2018.
All kinds of sleepers developed by Greenrail has passed all the laboratory tests and have been tested on railway lines in Italy, confirming their advantages. The technology is currently patented in 85 countries worldwide. The company has established important partnerships with various international entities, such as Politecnico di Milano, Sustainable Development Foundation, Indra, World Alliance for Efficient Solutions, Circular Economy Network.
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