The busiest railway track in Finland renewed using BIM
The railway track between Helsinki and Riihimäki is part of the oldest railroad in Finland that was built 150 years ago.
Measuring by the number of trains, it is the busiest section in Finland, used by the local lines from Helsinki to Riihimäki and Lahti directions, the long-distance lines to Tampere and the new Lahti express track, as well as the freight trains from Pasila, Vuosaari, Sköldvik and Hanko. As the volume of transport has been increasing, the capacity of this section was falling behind, which led to delays and vulnerabilities in train schedules. The first phase of the project is to improve the functionality of the linesides and create opportunities to improve scheduling. In addition, the objective is to transfer freight transport to a separate track outside passenger transport.
During the years 2017 to 2020, the tracks of the Riihimäki passenger train yard are renewed to make the thoroughfare of fast trains more fluent. On the same occasion, the 100-years-old railroad bridge over the river Vantaanjoki is revamped. Sitowise’s main design assignment includes earthworks, foundations, lift structures, cladding, switch installations and uninstallations, safety equipment, condition surveying of platforms, canopies and tunnels, as well as renovation design. The location is extremely challenging in order to avoid disturbance to the passing rail traffic. Approximately 160 trains pass through Riihimäki daily. The mass of data involved can only be managed by building information modeling. Railway, electrification and safety equipment will be renewed almost completely: 11 tracks, four platforms, around 4 km of new rail, 28 new switches and 63 new electric railway poles.
The models must reflect the completed designs at all times
The purpose of the design assignment is to create a construction plan that fulfills the client’s many conditions and limitations regarding the updates to the yard. The design method is continuous modeling, which means that the project models must reflect the completed designs at all times. The infrastructural models created in the project are legally binding documents for the construction. The objective is to compile a digital material bank to utilize during bidding and to enable BIM-based construction. In addition, the objective is to advance the use of modeling in the developments and investments by the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency. The models are presented in the design system, and a hybrid model (Trimble Connect) is created when necessary. In addition, the models must be shared on the client’s Infrakit server. This is a way to ensure coordination between the engineering disciplines and the client to follow design status. The modeling is steered by common InfraBIM guidelines. The assignment also includes coordination and combination of above mentioned separate assignments with the construction plan and the building information model.
Source data in the model enables starting the model-based design at the same time for each discipline. Laser-scanning produced point cloud data for the whole yard. The client plays an active role in the modeling of the project as well as the development of the field in Finland. The project involves developing common ways of working for the field, and the design phase produced, for example, object libraries for electrical safety equipment for the use of the whole engineering field. The results of the developments will be utilized in future projects.
Building information models played an important role in the design of the Vantaanjoki railway bridge. Based on the BIM data, pile length and work method could be adjusted and the work done during short traffic breaks.
The combination model helped schedule the work phases. In a 3D environment, it was easier to visualize the connections between the electric poles and tracks, for example. When scheduling work, the team found a solution that enables building the tracks and the platforms during the workday so that disturbance to transport is kept to the minimum.
Combination model’s format support enabled all project parties to view the vast amount of building information
The area was challenging so the design solution was to coordinate the design disciplines and create a combined model. The project involved exceptionally many engineering disciplines which each designed by modeling. Thanks to the shared model, the overall design was quick to complement and update in almost real time. Trimble Connect’s extensive format support enabled all project parties to view the vast amount of building information. In the beginning of the project there was a BIM meeting every Friday, which eventually evolved into real-time design meetings. Some of the engineering disciplines did not design by modeling, including safety equipment and electrified tracks. During the project, these disciplines developed and changed their practices towards model-based information management.
Model-based work scheduling enabled assembling larger entities. Thanks to modeling, tracks did not need to be moved in the night time and the moves could be contracted. The model also helped interact with the client and the stakeholder groups. A separate source data model enabled quick model-based design kick-off and the utilization of the combination model in, for example, the meetings.
Client: Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency
Developers: Viakon Infra Oy, Rejlers Finland Oy
Principal design: Sitowise Oy
Structural design and detailing: Sitowise Oy
Rail and geotechnical design: Sitowise Oy
Safety signals and electrical systems: Proxion Oy
Platform signage and guidance systems: Ramboll Finland Oy
Camera monitoring: WSP Finland Oy
Construction planning of Vantaanjoki railway bridge: Sitowise Oy
Electrification systems for railways: NRC Finland Oy
Extension of Riihimäki station tunnel: Sitowise Oy