Giovanni De Lisi, a young Italian entrepreneur, had an intuition that will revolutionize the world of rail networks: covering the train tracks with sleepers made of recycled rubber from tires that can no longer be used. All in the name of sustainability. With this revolutionary idea, sleepers made of sustainable materials will replace concrete ones (much more expensive), which has always been the standard throughout the world.
The young Sicilian entrepreneur started taking his first steps at the age of 19, working as a worker in the family company that dealt with railway maintenance. It was precisely in those years that the idea of replacing cement sleepers with more sustainable materials began to mature in Giovanni's mind; the young man, therefore, begins to read up and discovers that, indeed, someone had already thought of it: they had already been made of railway sleepers in recycled plastic. The latter, however, had severe limitations as they could only be positioned in sections where the train did not exceed a speed of 80 km / h. To improve efficiency, Giovanni uses unused tire tires.
Specifically, the outer covering of the sleepers is in plastic and rubber from recycled tires, while the interior is in prestressed concrete.
The choice in the use of these materials, besides being of an ecological nature, is certainly also economic, as this type of sleepers has a much lower cost than that of the classic concrete sleepers. Moreover, the technical characteristics of these new sleepers allow a significant reduction in maintenance costs and an attenuation of the strong noise due to rail traffic.
With this great idea in his hands, Giovanni De Lisi founded the start-up Greenrail, born several years ago and supported by "Polihub", the university incubator of the Politecnico di Milano. The project was a great success - the young entrepreneur has filed the patent in 120 countries around the world and in September 2018 the first pilot line was inaugurated with the new railway sleepers.
In particular, the start-up proposes to work on 3 different types of sleepers: the Solar, in which a photovoltaic system is integrated that allows the production of energy; the Linkboxes, which allow the transmission of data; and le Piezo, capable of producing electricity to power diagnostic devices.
A revolutionary project that has already attracted the attention of great American and Chinese giants, and that we hope will soon become a standard in all railway lines.