Circular Economy Challenge

Innovate in railway infrastructure activities through a transition from waste management to the creation of resources and material capital!

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Few lines of thought


Imagine projects or products made of railway waste

The maintenance and replacement of the national railway network create a large quantity of waste: around 110 millions metric ton of ballast, 15 millions metric ton of concrete tiles (55 millions units), 5,5 millions metric ton of rails (approximately 100,000 km), 1.6 million tonnes of wood sleepers (20 million units), more than 27,000 switchgear or 16,000 tonnes of overhead lines!

Design objects (eg street furniture), products (eg building component) or projects (eg building, development) using these materials allowing new uses for the railway group, the construction industry or any other economic sector! These design approaches will be part of a holistic approach to sustainable development, maximizing the recycling or reuse of railway materials and creating environmental, economic and user value. The solution has to be replicable or even producible in the industry or a unique projects with very high added value!



Propose new sectors for the valorization of resources and railway waste

SNCF Réseau is already using its waste products in various ways: reuse of ballast for road works, production of energy for the industrial sector from wooden sleepers, recasting of steel for steel mills...

Imagine the development of new recycling or recovery channels for the railway waste to extend the life cycle of materials used by SNCF Réseau or to develop opportunities in other sectors. Since these materials are heavy and SNCF Réseau is established throughout the country, you are invited to favor the development of short circuits in the territories.


Invent ways to optimize the analysis and management of material flows for SNCF Réseau

The creation of a more circular economy within SNCF Réseau involves rethinking the types and management of inventories and material flows for the railway group. What tools have been designed to facilitate knowledge (nature, quantity, quality), the availability of material stocks in the rail network, anticipate and monitor secondary material flows (traceability), anticipate the needs of local sectors, create partnerships ? 


Rethink the model to improve the economic balance sheet of waste recovery

The profitability of circular economy strategies is essential to ensure their sustainability within SNCF Réseau. This depends on the course of secondary materials, logistics, management of intermediate storage, knowledge of local markets... What means to optimize the financial and extra financial balance of waste recovery? Because the secondary resources of SNCF Réseau are heavy, they are often valued locally. How to increase this creation of economic value with the territories?

Those different topics are food for thought, you can suggest other types of solutions which are innovative for the circular economy challenge of SNCF Réseau!