Greenrail produces rail line sleepers from recovered tires and urban plastic waste that exceed the technical specifications of traditional concrete or wood sleepers. 

TARGET USERS: Businesses, Industry, Government

KEY CONSIDERATIONS: Greenrail is a patented system that uses up to 35 tonnes of used tires and plastic waste per kilometer of installed rail line.


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    Traditional rail line sleepers are made of concrete or chemically treated wood, with a relatively high environmental burden. Meanwhile, plastic waste and used tire volumes continue to grow, adding municipal waste stream that is often directed to landfill and incineration facilities.



    Greenrail is an Italian company founded by Giovanni Maria De Lisi’s, that develops a sustainable railway sleeper, one that provides better technical, environmental and economic features, when compared to the present standard sleepers in the sector.

    Greenrail produces railway sleepers with secondary raw materials, using a blend of rubber collected from ELTs (End of Life Tires) and plastic from urban waste. The intellectual property of Greenrail’s technology is protected in more than 70 patent offices around the world, and they are capable of designing and devloping products to meet the rail specifications in each country.

    Key facts:

    • For every kilometer of rail, 1670 Greenrail sleepers use up to 35 tonnes of End of Life Tires (ELTs) and plastic from urban waste.
    • The technical characteristics of Greenrail sleepers allow the ordinary maintenance costs reduction by up to 2 – 2,5 times, compared to the traditional sleepers in concrete.
    • Greenrail sleeper has a longer lifespan compared to the traditional sleepers in concrete. This advantage allows reduction of not only the costs related to the raw materials, but also the energy consumption during the industrial production, with considerable savings throughout the railway sector.
    • Greenrail is the only sleeper able to incorporate different systems and devices, such as photovoltaic panels for solar energy harvesting (Greenrail Solar) and devices for safety and diagnostic data transmission (Greenrail LinkBox).



    Greenrail claims to be the only sleeper in the world manufactured from recycled materials. Traditional railway sleepers are made of reinforced concrete and/ or chemically treated wood.



    Greenrail and Ferrovie Emilia Romagna inaugurated the first pilot stretch constructed with new generation smart railway sleepers, in September 2018. See announcement:

    Greenrail finalized the first license contract with SafePower1 in the USA in 2017. The commercial contract, which includes patent and trademark licensing, designing and supplying the industrial plants, as well as providing the necessary know-how, has an initial total value of 26 million euros. The 15-years agreement is magnified by royalties, and as a result will reach a value of more than 75 million euros. In 2018, the first US industrial manufacturing plant was built for a domestic market with a demand of 15 to 25 million sleepers each year for the maintenance of the existing railways.

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