BIM is revolutionizing the transformation of the railway sector in Spain


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Image courtesy of Grupo Typsa

Line 10 of the Valencia Metro, a success story

The Typsa Group has more than 50 years' experience in the development of transport, water engineering, building, renewable energy and rural development projects. In this case it has once again stood out in the sector with the creation and construction of Line 10 of the Valencia Metro. In their workflow they have included REVIT, CIVIL 3D and NAVISWORK as solutions for the planning of buildings, installations and tunnels; as well as the development of linear works and track elements; and the coordination between the different models.

Station of Alicante - Courtesy of Grupo Typsa.

Technical quality and value engineering

With more than 50 years of experience, TYPSA, an independent group of companies has been supporting institutional, public, and private clients in developing transport, water, building, renewable energy, and rural development projects, from planning to operations.

Implementation of BIM and the use of immersive experiences like virtual reality have put TYPSA on the cutting edge of innovation across all phases of the project lifecycle of infrastructure assets.  Typsa implements the highest technical, sustainability and integrity standards in its business, focusing on the circular economy with the creation of asset management platforms and the development of new value-engineering propositions.

Station of Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias - Courtesy of Grupo Typsa

BIM brings efficiency, quality, and control to a railway expansion

The TYPSA Group is a leader in the railway sector, standing out for its new application of BIM on the Expansion of line 10 of the Valencia Metro in Spain.

This is the first project in Spain to incorporate this methodology in linear railway works. With Civil 3D employed for developing the line and track elements and Revit for all the building elements, installations and tunnels, the right technologies and workflows were a key factor in the success of this project. Lastly, Navisworks was essential in ensuring coordination between the different models. This enabled greater control throughout the project, improving collaboration and coordination, avoiding errors and rework, and automating verification tasks leading to better outcomes.

Station of Amado Granell - Courtesy of Grupo Typsa

Leading the railway sector

As a leader in the railway sector, TYPSA Group has worked on high-profile projects such as the London-Birmingham high-speed rail line and interventions in metropolitan transport systems in cities like Valencia, Stockholm, Madrid, Barcelona, Quito, Lima, Toronto, Kanpur and Agra (India), Riyadh and Sydney, among others. To this end, it has technical teams specializing in linear works, architecture, structures, and installations oriented towards railway projects.

The railway sector in Spain is advanced and in a highly consolidated position, as the cost per ton for freight transported is very efficient. Nonetheless, the railway sector is growing and undergoing constant change, transitioning to digitization across all phases of the railway project lifecycle. For this reason, it has been imperative for TYPSA to address this need to keep up with the times to maintain its competitive advantage in the industry.

Reducing errors and rework with BIM

The adoption of BIM has enhanced the quality of the TYPSA Group’s projects, making this one of its main values. The group has overhauled its information and communications infrastructure, as well as its check and review systems, to adapt them to this type of production, making it the first major engineering firm certified in ISO 19650. At TYPSA, BIM is now standard to better guarantee production based on efficient management of information, even when not a client requirement.

“From the standpoint of quality assurance, the BIM methodology establishes a series of principles that substantially reduce the generation or propagation of errors during production of the works, thereby ensuring excellence-oriented projects.”

José María Pastor Villanueva, BIM Manager of the Valencia Territorial Office, Grupo TYPSA

Line 10 of the Valencia Metro, a success story

Line 10 of the Valencia Metro originally consisted of an existing 2-km rail tunnel and a 2.9-km section at grade. On top of the existing infrastructure, TYPSA carried out the architectural design of the underground subway stations and aboveground stations, as well as the service installations and all the superstructure corresponding to a rail line: tracks, overhead line, transformer centers, electrification, and communications. The work also included design of the depot and rail yard at the end of the line.

This is a very important line that connects the center of the city of Valencia with the waterfront neighborhood of Natzaret, passing through the City of Arts and Sciences, the aquarium, and the City of Justice complexes. The connection of this new line with the Port of Valencia and line 4, which is currently in operation, is planned for the future.

For budget management reasons, the project was divided into various lots: design of the ramp linking the existing underground and aboveground sections, construction work at grade, electrification, communications, and connection of line 10 with the Xàtiva station through an underground pedestrian walkway. Almost complete, the construction work for the project started in 2020 with a total budget of 25 million euros.

At the initiative of the BIM Champion at Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat Valenciana (Valencian regional government railway authority), Marcos Roselló, the entire construction project was carried out using BIM. The contract included a first implementation of the methodology at FGV, with special training for its employees to ensure internal use of the models generated.

“At FGV we see BIM as an improvement opportunity for resolving many of the problems we were facing in our daily work as an infrastructure operator and manager, particularly in terms of asset management.”

Marcos Roselló, BIM Champion at Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat Valenciana

Station of Amado Granell - Courtesy of Grupo Typsa

Pioneering first linear works project with BIM

The Valencia Metro line 10 project was the first linear works project for railway construction carried out in Spain. To develop it, TYPSA had to address the other challenges posed by these types of projects. To start, a decision was made to use two different software applications specific to the different areas of specialization involved. Revit was used to design the architecture and installations in the stations and tunnels, and Civil 3D was used to characterize the track elements. This modelling strategy required the use of Navisworks for effective coordination between models, consultation of the design during modelling, and verification of fulfilment of the requirements that FGV had established at the start of the project.

Benefits of BIM technology reduce time by helping check measurements and certification

The information models created during the project were used in various ways:

  • Creation of the 0 Model of the as-built state. When designing the project based on previously built infrastructure, it was necessary to create a series of as-built models as the foundation to create the new designs. This task was accomplished by scanning the underground and aboveground sections, processing the resulting point clouds, and creating the as-built models, with integration of the georeferenced point clouds into the modelling programs.
  • Obtaining 2D plans and documentation. The main plans defining the project were created using Civil 3D tools building individual models of plans linked to the geometry models.
  • Quantity take-off. The lists of quantities included in the different projects were extracted from the models by customized queries. These queries' results were either dropped directly in the budgets through Cost-It (Presto plug-in for Revit by RIB Software) or by processing on spreadsheets created from the lists generated by Civil 3D. By leveraging the attributes associated with the elements modelled, the names of the budget items were added, which made it possible to achieve 75% traceability of the budget for the procurement.


  • Creation of infographics and virtual walkthroughs. The geometry models served as the basis for generating videos describing the project to help citizens understand the works being carried out. They were also used to create a virtual walkthrough of the underground stations, which can be visited here.
  • Clash detection between the clearances and the as-built state. The creation of specific models of kinematic clearances, based on the geometry of the convoys expected to be used, enabled a specific clash analysis in Navisworks of the subway cars compared to the actual tunnel geometry.  This analysis detected zones that required structural measures to adjust the existing infrastructure, thereby ensuring the absence of interferences along the entire route.
  • Accessibility: based on the development work done in this project, TYPSA has launched an R&D program to verify accessibility in subway stations. It uses the modelled geometry to verify the accessibility requirements and to study the perception of use of the stations by users with different degrees of disability, incorporating the use of videogame generation software to make the experience more immersive and realistic. Lastly, the works served to establish a roadmap in FGV to consolidate the use of the BIM methodology as a structuring element for its own railway infrastructures covering: the BIM adaptation of FGV's tender requirements, the establishment of a common data environment, and the creation of the tailored element classification for FGV, amongst others. The BIM execution plan (BEP) drafted for the project served as the basis for the current FGV BIM Manual.