Railway Viaduct Pesnica

Within the railway between Vienna and Trieste in the middle of the 19th century, a 649-meter-long viaduct with 64 arches over the Pesnica Plain was completed in 1846. The viaduct was built of stone and brick and founded on wooden piles. Allegedly due to the groundwater level reduction, the viaduct began to sink and the viaduct gradually backfilled to embankment. By 1908, the entire viaduct had been turned into a continuous embankment. Even today the embankment still has stability problems, therefore the Owner decided to slightly shift the railway route and build a new parallel viaduct.

The new Pesnica viaduct is a 912-meter-long, relatively low, double-track railway viaduct. It is designed as a series of frame structures connected into an integral structure without bearings. Due to the seismic resistance design, hydraulic devices (STU - shock transmission unit) will be installed between the frames to reduce deformations and transfer forces for instant loads, such as braking force and earthquake.

This design concept allows the implementation of a continuous welded rail track (CWR) without expansion joints, with great advantages in terms of traffic safety, economy, sustainability and noise emissions. In terms of architectural design, the structural design is logic, transparent and neutral to the environment in its appearance. Construction work on a new railway viaduct across the Pesnica river valley near Maribor started in October 2020, and opened to traffic in August 2023. 

Traffic will run on one track until the year 2030, when a second track will be added due to anticipated increased traffic.

Project type
Railway Viaduct
Railway track Maribor–Šentilj, Slovenia
Ponting Services
Conceptual / Preliminary / Detailed design
912 meters
Span arrangement
56 m (2 x 28) + 7 x 112 m (27+29+29+27) + 56 m (2 x 28)
Pier height
Up to 14 meters
14,36 meters
Discontinuous pre-stressed integral frame structure
Cast in place segmental construction
Republic of Slovenia, Ministry of Infrastructure
Pomgrad d.d.
MARKELJ V. - Construction of railway viaduct Pesnica - Photo-reportage. August 2023, Gradbeni vestnik, 201-204.
MAHER J., MARKELJ V. - Analysis of Railway Viaduct Pesnica. October 2022, SDGK conference publication #43, 33-42.
MARKELJ V. - Railway Viaduct Pesnica – from concept to construction. October 2022, SDGK conference publication #43, 23-32.