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Innovative overhead contact line on the Mestre - Venezia S. Lucia railway line

Developed by GCF the new overhead ET line on the bridge over the lagoon in Venice

GCF starts work on the bridge over the lagoon focusing both on its aesthetic appeal and practical application

A new overhead contact line for the bridge over the lagoon which connects Mestre to the Station of Venezia S. Lucia. The work which Generale Costruzioni Ferroviarie began a month ago is scheduled for completion by the end of the year. The company will deliver a completely reconstructed overhead line to its client RFI using innovative materials and design criteria that combine and maximize aesthetic appeal and practical application.

“At present", GCF Site Manager, Tiziano Bernardi explained, "we are doing the excavation work and casting the foundation blocks. The work involves replacing the heavy slabs of reinforced concrete that connect the two railway bridges, laying new PVC pipes for the signalling cables, reinforcing the foundation blocks and finally casting the concrete.”
In this way, 74 foundation blocks (50 for securing the girders and 20 for the sturdy tie rods) will be built along the 2,500 metres of the railway bridge over the lagoon at a rate of 2 to3 per night. Then, in mid September, the new, innovative girders and crossbeams will be laid. These are large, elegant “T” shaped structures which, placed in the middle of the rail section, will cover all 4 tracks.

Below: the preliminary stages of constructing the frameworks and reinforcing the blocks

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Stainless steel and aluminium: combining performance and reliability

The GCF design engineer, Michele Granzotto, explains the reasons for this choice: “Here we not only have an innovative, more sober and aesthetically essential design which is more suited to the architectural context of a city of art like Venice, but also a structure that focuses on functionality and is long lasting. The beams and girders are made of a special stainless steel manufactured in India which guarantees resistance to the corrosive action of the salt water”.

The same needs for design, performance and reliability have influenced preferences as far as the subsequent stage of equipping the ET line stage is concerned on the special Omnia cantilevers: made of aluminium alloy, the Omnia cantilevers are extremely light (also in appearance) and, above all, long lasting even in very aggressive atmospheric conditions such as salty environments which are unable to penetrate the physical properties of the material.

Once the line has been equipped, the final stage of work, to be completed in December, involves the installation and putting into service of four new lines as well as removal of the present overhead contact line.

Supplying, casting and floating of the concrete

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Details: the Omnia Cantilever