Minimising space requirements
The railways use only a third to a sixth of the surface area required by road transport for equivalent transport capacity. While a width of 14 metres maximum is required for a double-track, electrified, high-capacity rail route, a motorway with the same capacity needs three lanes in each direction, and a width of about 37 metres. The space requirement for railway tracks in Austria is only 0.13 per cent of the national territory (107 km²), while its roads take up more than 2,600 km² - an area the size of Vorarlberg under asphalt. But the railways are much more than just tracks. Railway areas offer valuable habitats and refuge for numerous rare and endangered animal and plant species.
Even before the start of construction work in major projects we created ecological compensation areas, so that animals and plants can quickly colonise their new habitats on the land and in the water. Once construction is finished, we return areas no longer required to nature and plant them. Specific measures include laying out ponds and swales, forestation, marsh areas and reed beds, migration facilities for fish and amphibians or wildlife tunnels.
Green concrete is another contribution to climate protection and to sustainable development. The proven and durable building material concrete has become more eco-friendly due to new processing methods. Using this newly-developed innovative technology, the composition of concrete for infrastructure buildings can fundamentally be improved so that CO2 emissions and the primary energy requirement can be reduced.