The railway line between Benidorm and Dénia in the Spanish autonomous community of Valencia has been affected by slope instability that caused it to be closed for two years.

Our dynamic barriers together with our reinforced geomat Macmat were chosen to stabilise the slope and to guarantee rail security.

Line 9 of the Autonomous Government of Valencia Railway communicates with the municipalities of Benidorm and Dénia. It passes through the spectacular landscapes of the Valencian Costa Blanca on the east coast of Spain and joins various localities.

The safety of the 13km railway linking the localities of Calpe and Teulada has been affected by slope instability, with rocks measuring several tens of centimetres reaching the railway platform and others threatening to fall from the crest slope, with further erosion problems formed by clay and loamy levels on the slopes.

Initially the solution envisaged a homogenous actuation for all slopes consisting on a placement of a DT mesh. Along with the contractor, we carried out an inspection of all slopes and proposed different solutions based on the slope geology and the problems presented.

As a result, a 4m-high RB 1500 Dynamic Barrier was proposed where there was a risk of blocks falling and reaching the platform. Where erosion was present, a green geomat MacMat R was put in place to deal with the problem.

The RB 1500 rockfall barrier is capable of withstanding the impact of a rock block with energy levels in excess of 1,500kJ. The MacMat R 8127 GN is a geomat made from a 3D matrix of UV stabilised, non-degradable synthetic fibers, extruded onto a double twisted steel woven mesh. It is used on vulnerable soil slopes, exposed to erosion. MacMat R immediately increases the soil’s resistance to erosion by providing an environment that enhances the growth of vegetation through the mat.

Installation works were carried out from April to July by GESPROTAL. This together with some improvements being carried out on the platform will allow the railway to reopen in January.