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


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.