The railroad line between Reichenau-Tamins and Ilanz runs through a unique landscape. Here, the Rhaetian Railway passes through the Rhine Gorge (Ruinaulta) over a length of about 15 kilometers. Galleries, dams and nets protect the railroad line from falling stones and boulders that break loose from the steep erosion slopes, which can be up to 120 meters high.
In the summer of 2022, a team member of the Surselva railroad service discovered huge stones on the gallery and the slope while inspecting the protective structures. A geologic evaluation revealed that a large boulder was in danger of falling and had to be removed as quickly as possible.
The Rhaetian Railway (RhB) reacted quickly: after the rope inspection by geologists, contractors and project engineers, measures were planned using a 3-D model to determine the volume, position, behavior and center of gravity of the boulder.
In a short time, the block weighing almost 500 tons was stabilized with 32 wire ropes (22 mm GEOBINEX). These ropes were firmly anchored on the grassland above with 350 meters of spiral rope anchors (22.5 mm). A heavy-duty net (SPIDER S4-130) measuring over 300 square meters additionally secured the boulder. These measures were designed to prevent the boulder from falling during the blasting operations. Furthermore, several Geobrugg GUARDS continuously monitored the rope loads.
The project was carried out in the shortest possible time and in the best possible cooperation with the client RhB and all those involved so that the safety of everyone involved was guaranteed at all times. Swiss television SRF reported in December 2022.
Involved partner companies of the Rhaetian Railway
Impact Protection, Monitoring