Analysis

Application of BIM strategy for China’s Dali to Ruili Railway project

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Using Bentley software, the engineering team assigned to China’s 205-mile Dali-Ruili Railway utilized comprehensive BIM (Building Information Modeling) strategy for design work involving all disciplines. BIM is described as “a process to help manage complexity and improve performance in construction projects.”

The Dali-Ruili Railway, currently under construction in China’s Yunnan Province, will include the world’s longest span bridge, the Nujiang Four-Line Bridge stretching nearly 3,400 feet, and the Gaoligong Mountain Rail Tunnel, Asia’s longest at 21.4 miles. The China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group, Yungui Railway Yunnan Co. Ltd., China Railway 18 Bureau Group Co. Ltd., and China Railway Tunnel Group Co. Ltd. were tasked with implementing a comprehensive 3D BIM approach for this complex project. The team faced terrain challenges, geological constraints, complex structural design and routing.

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The team used Bentley’s BIM applications to develop complex 3D models of the geology, bridges and tunnels. It also had to integrate the information required by Chinese Railway standards and create a construction management platform based on the BIM technology, which was used to effectively manage the quality, safety, investment and progress of the railway’s construction.

The team improved design efficiency by nearly 100 times, shortened the design period by 1,000 hours, and saved labor costs equivalent to more than 20 people on the project using several Bentley applications. OpenRoads technology in PowerCivil for China was used to model the routing for the railway tunnel, while ProStructures was used for the steel truss arch bridge, and MicroStation to model the terrain and foundations. ProjectWise streamlined workflows and enhanced collaboration, enabling delivery of the project 100 days ahead of schedule. Other Bentley software on this project included Descartes and LumenRT, for advanced 3D imagery processing.

Using ProjectWise as its collaborative design platform, the team efficiently operationalized a comprehensive BIM workflow. Setting appropriate permissions for the different users involved, its adoption of a common data format facilitated information sharing across different disciplines and phases. The design, construction, and supervision parties, as well as the owner, used Bentley software to support its BIM construction management platform, making it easy to understand project progress, investments, safety, and quality.

“By using the Bentley platform, the 3D collaborative design of the whole project was completed efficiently and rapidly, which brought hope and confidence for our future intelligent railway construction,” said Fengxiang Dong, Director of BIM Center China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group Co., Ltd.

The Dali–Ruili railway will form the western portion of China’s rail link with Southeast Asia, part of the Trans-Asian Railway, and is expected to be connected with the railways of Myanmar. It is expected to open in 2021.

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