During the reclamation works of railway installations along the Turin-Padua line, our company is carrying out several interventions on the asbestos-containing crushed stones - usually called ballast. The ongoing activities are complex and require great experience, team work and operational coordination among all companies involved, as they are carried out in difficult and limited spacial and temporal contexts.

Critical aspects

Safety is surely the main critical point, for the following reasons:

  • handling of dangerous materials
  • railway sector (trains, electricity)
  • night work

Limited working time is another critical aspect: the time the line is stopped has to be as short as possible, therefore it is fundamental to plan in detail the completion of some work phases before reactivating the line, so as not to damage the quality of interventions already completed.

Description of works

TIA’s work includes excavations to place foundation blocks for phone poles; the surface ballast and the underlying polluted soil are removed.

These operations usually require setting up an area in the station for the following items:

  • train equipped with a decontamination unit;
  • temporary ballast storage site;
  • worksite shed and changing room;
  • chemical toilet.

Tools and equipment commonly used are:

  • 2-bar low-pressure airless pump with rain-effect nozzle;
  • Electrical extractor fan with absolute filter;
  • Manual tools;
  • Excavator;
  • Light tower;
  • Iron sledgehammer;
  • Bogie with locomotive.

In addition to the previous list:

  • worksite electrical system, including a power generator and a certified switchgear compliant with Law 37/08. The worksite switchgear located near the working area includes switches fitted with magnetic and thermal protection and residual-current devices to guarantee a safe power supply to users.
  • Personnel Decontamination Unit

2 bogies are drawn to the worksite before the start of decontamination operations. They contain:

  • onboard the first bogie - UDP, water tank, WC, power generator and light tower.
  • onboard the second bogie - excavator, big bag holder and new crushed stones.

Before starting the excavation operations, our staff - equipped with specific PPE - should:

  • set up the fencing around the worksite;
  • start the wetting operations on the ballast using water and incapsulant within the excavation area and the surrounding areas; this operation will be repeated during all ballast handling phases by airless pump.
  • carry out airborne fibres sampling: 1 background sampling in each excavation and plinth laying area, to be repeated daily during the removal of ballast.

For more information:
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The TIA group was founded after the war and became the leading asbestos removal company in Italy in the 1990s.

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Address: via Salomone 73, 20138 Milano (IT)
Phone number: +39 02 50 99 40 1
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