The design of a high-alpine railway logistics centre represents a significant challenge. Especially when the project area is located in one of the world’s most remote regions – the Puna de Atacama, Argentina, at 4,000 m above sea level. The “Tren a las Nubes” (Train into the clouds) currently is the only active railway line across the Andes. Planned expansion of mining activities along the track will not only increase pressure on the existing railway but will also require infrastructure expansion. Based on the targeted use of innovative methods, holistic solutions will be generated – Building Information Modelling (BIM) will play a key role during this process.


Mines with great development potential (e.g. lithium, copper, gold) are located in the immediate surroundings of the railway. However, the required transport capacities cannot be satisfied as the potential mining areas are currently not or only insufficiently accessed by railway. Connecting the existing road network with the railway system through a high-performance railway logistics centre represents an intriguing solution that requires holistic thinking. In an interdisciplinary cooperation the extensive experience and the expertise in rail technology and rail management, geology and transport logistics of the Austrian Partners is used.


Extreme altitude (4000 m), limited water availability and poor accessibility require innovative solutions on a sustainable and ecofriendly basis. Among other methods, BIM tools for location analysis and possible scenarios are already used in a very early project stage. Extensive data sets are brought together and analysed holistically with the main objective of supporting decision-makers in the best possible way in the early stages of the project.


GEORESEARCH meets these challenges by developing an efficient BIM methodology for targeted decision support in early project stages. The project, funded by the Austria Wirtschaftsservice GmbH, combines the specific competencies and the interdisciplinary know-how of national and Argentinian partners in a holistic pre-feasibility study under the direction of Geoconsult ZT GmbH (based in Wals near Salzburg). We are very much looking forward to this new challenge and an exciting cooperation with our partners!



Contribution GEORESEARCH: Natural Hazards, Building Information Modelling

Project Partner: Geoconsult ZT GmbH, STL - Solutions for Transport and Logistics GmbH, Steiermarkbahn Transport und Logistik GmbH

Project Duration: 2018 - 2019

Funding: AWS - Austria Wirtschaftsservice



Geoconsult ZT GmbH

STL - Solutions for Transport and Logistics GmbH

Steiermarkbahn Transport und Logistik