Life Cycle Assessment Applied to Railway Infrastructure: A Proposed Method


  • Filipe Batista Ribeiro
  • Marcelino Aurélio Vieira Da Silva



Based on mitigation strategies for the rational use of resources and conscious consumption of inputs, it is important to develop tools that allow the measurement of environmental impacts and greenhouse gas emissions, for better decision-making in the planning of railway infrastructure activities. Therefore, this article presents a method for evaluating railway infrastructure projects, having as a parameter the potential impact of global warming when different materials are used in the sub-ballast, to improve the support capacity of the railway pavement. As a technical criterion for evaluation, the mechanical behavior of the subgrade was considered in a condition of moisture above the optimal level, with a sub-ballast composed of sandy material as a baseline for comparison. The results, considering the environmental impact, clearly indicated that the use of a soil-cement mixture in the sub-ballast was the best option. Furthermore, even in the face of more frequent renovation of the permanent way, the reference scenario was more attractive than those with use of a combination of soil-emulsion and hot mix asphalt.