• Infrastructure
  • Structure
  • Tunneling
  • Geotechnics
  • Environment
  • Hydraulics
  • Mobility
  • Architecture
  • Systems
  • Safety
  • BIM
  • Visual Design

Depots for public transport

  • Infrastructure
  • Structure
  • Hydraulics
  • Architecture
  • Systems
  • Safety
  • BIM
  • Visual design

Technological innovation, engineering excellence and attention to detail.

The Malles railway depot

The Val Venosta, Alto Adige, railway line

The Val Venosta railway line has been involved in an important renovation project by Strutture Trasporto Alto Adige S.p.A. (STA) since 2005. The project, preparatory to the more ambitious aim of regional redevelopment of the area, involves the electrification of the line as a priority so that the capacity, number of seats and comfort can be increased.
At the same time as the electrification of part of the route and the purchase of new trains, longer than the ones currently circulating, there is a station train shed expansion project and the reconfiguration of the related area.

In the context, NET Engineering was responsible for the Preliminary Project, Final Design and Executive Plan and the Works Management for the extension of 81 metres of the existing depot (electrical and mechanical installations included) and the related maintenance pit.

The project also set out the modification of the existing track structure using points and, as a result, the signalling system to allow trains to enter the new portion of train shed easily and safely, the extension of Platform 1 of the station in the direction of the depot, and also the structural adaptation of the complex with reference to the electrification works.

The Works Management at Malles station was marked by a constant interface with the client and precise organisation of the site stages so that the safety of not only the workpeople but also the staff and users of the station and the nearby bus terminus could be ensured. The NET Engineering Works Management curated the time schedule for the completion of the works within the time set out by the project with great care and attention with the aim of reducing to the minimum the interruption to railway traffic due to specific work during the construction site stage.

The design and construction experience at Malles motivated STA to indicate this depot as a standard from which the other train sheds and related planned updating along the Val Venosta railway line will start.

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The Segrate-Pioltello railway workshop

The Mercitalia Maintenance, Gruppo FS, industrial building

Planning the renovation of a depot and railway workshop of 21,550 m² is certainly a challenge. It is a greater challenge if the project includes 68,000 m² of external areas, including the land with the railway and service area, and an even greater one if the project concerns a 1930s building and sidings bombed during the Second World War.

NET Engineering was responsible for the Preliminary Project, Final Design and Executive Plan of the refitting of the architectural, infrastructural, structural and installations layouts of the Segrate-Pioltello (Milan) railway workshop, totally developed using BIM. The industrial building, conceived and built as a freight depot, is undergoing an important modernisation project with the aim of amending its intended use to a railway carriage maintenance workshop, planning the addition of new services and an upgrade of the production system.

The renovation project drafted by NET Engineering mainly concerned the architectural building elements and the reinforcement of the bearer structures of the building with seismic updating and creation of new structures functional to the work (access ramps, external storage base of wheel sets, creation of internal maintenance pits, etc.).

In addition, the demolition and creation of new building services (mechanical, storm water runoff, fire prevention, electrical and special), the creation of the external car park and infiltration basin, organisation of the railway the resolution of potential interferences with the existing sub-services were also planned. NET Engineering’s work began with the reconstruction of the state of the work of the area using Laser Scanner, MMS and drones. The data was then imported and processed using BIM software, which enabled integrated co-ordination of the project, simplifying the management of a lot of information and facilitating interaction between the disciplines involved.

In detail, the architectural design brought many production lines implying handling of heavy materials together in the same space with the other functions set out in the building (administrative and operational offices, conference rooms, dressing rooms, canteen, the recreation room, etc.) fully respecting safety regulations.

Structurally  speaking, superficial defects and the specific geometry of the depot and its structure, consisting of hundreds of columns of a height that made visual inspection impossible, were reconstructed through the Laser Scanner and the BIM model. Then there were investigations into the materials, which gave the NET Engineering designers detailed knowledge of the health of each structural element. Starting from the information gathered, the reinforcement rebars were designed – designated with BIM software, the steel jackets respond precisely to the features of deterioration of each pillar, providing the client with a specific, effective and efficient answer.

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The Hamburg, Cologne and Essen depots

Designing some of the largest depots in Europe

The detailed design of the armature and structural steelwork for large public transport depots has benefitted from technological innovations and the spread of software dedicated to 3D modelling and oriented to BIM methodology. When

NET Engineering started the construction design of the reinforced concrete of the Hamburg electric bus depot, for a fleet of 240 vehicles, one of the largest in Europe, not much of the software available was suitable for the work required. The need for an IT tool able to make the armour converse easily with the carpentry ensuring, on one hand, the mutually unambiguous correspondence of three-dimensional objects and, on the other, allowing the automatic generation of tools lists, became clearer and clearer as designing with Autocad progressed. Therefore, NET Engineering chose to start experimenting with new software that not only made the design of reinforced concrete extremely precise but also simplified clash detection with the extension project for the area of the storage facility and rolling stock maintenance of the regional railways and tram network in Cologne.


Use of the new software was especially important in this project which set out the construction of two buildings, one for the storage facility (with a covered area of more than 16,000 m²) and one for the materials warehouse – an office building for management of operations, an electricity substation and a building for washing facilities. The industrial complex, the largest depot for rolling stock in Europe, also included the creation of 17 new tracks, 12 of which for the storage facility, 4 for sanding operations and one for the washing area. The 3D modelling software enabled the careful design of structural steelwork and armature within this vast and complex environment, respecting not only the considerable interferences with the systems component.

The use of software oriented to BIM methodology was fully utilised in the final design of the expansion and modernisation of the Essen railway depot. The project concerned the main depot – a secondary workshop authorised for both trams and trains, a carriage maintenance hall, a washing area, a spare parts warehouse and one for infrastructure maintenance materials. The working drawing of the armature and structural steelwork was especially complex as all the components of the maintenance pits would have had to be cast in place. The 3D modelling software thus facilitated the discussion between the various disciplines involved, ensuring a prompt, accurate reply to the client’s needs.

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The expansion of the refinery in Plock, Poland