Road and Railway Infrastructures


At the end of this curricular unit the student will have acquired the knowledge, skills and competences that will allow him to:

- To understand general aspects of Road and Railway Infrastructures (IRF);

- To understand general aspects about the design requirements for roads and railway infrastructures, the characteristics of this type of infrastructures and understanding of their behaviour throughout service life;

- To understand the phenomena of vehicle/road and vehicle /rail interaction;

- To be able to design and evaluate IRF, ability to assess the functional and structural characteristics of IRF;

- To understand the construction, in situ monitoring and maintenance techniques of IRF;

- To be able to research scientific information, study autonomously and analyse, with critical spirit, information related to this course subject.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

José Nuno Varandas da Silva Ferreira, Simona Fontul


Weekly - 3

Total - 56

Teaching language



Available soon


Apontamentos da unidade curricular/ Course notes

-          Fernando Branco, Paulo Pereira, Luís Picado Santos (2016),  Pavimentos Rodoviários  ISBN 9789724026480

-          ESVELT, C. (2001) – “Modern Railway Track” MRT-Productions, Netherlands. (

2008/217/CE - DECISÃO DA COMISSÃO de 20 de Dezembro de 2007 relativa à especificação técnica de interoperabilidade para o subsistema «infra-estrutura» do sistema ferroviário transeuropeu de alta velocidade.(

Teaching method

Essentially expository classes, using slides and practical examples taken from real situations.

Some classes with a calculus component, in a hands-on regime whenever possible.

Evaluation method

Two written Tests (50%) and two group (or individual) reports (50%).

Subject matter

1st Part - Roadway infrastructures

> Introduction - Physical and economic importance of Transport Infrastructure. Principles of road and rail traffic.
> Constitution
> Material characterization
> Characterization of actions
> Dimensioning
> Functional and structural assessment
> Identification of pathologies
> Pavement maintenance and rehabilitation.
> Urban and airport pavements.

2nd Part - Railway infrastructures

> Constitution of the railway tracks
> Geometry of railways tracks
> Inspection and maintenance of the railway infrastructure
> Characterization of actions
> Dimensioning and modeling of railway tracks,
> Degradation of roads
> High-speed lines: specific problems.