WIT Press

The analysis of disused railway lines as complex systems: GIS-based inventory and comprehensive analysis method

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/SDP-V12-N6-1018-1031

Volume

Volume 12 (2017), Issue 6

Pages

13

Page Range

1018 - 1031

Author(s)

A. EIZAGUIRRE-IRIBAR, L. ETXEPARE IGIÑIZ & R.J. HERNÁNDEZ-MINGUILLÓN

Abstract

Many kilometres of railway lines are disused in territories where the railways had been dependent on industrial development. The current broad concept of heritage and its territorial character make the proposition of these lines as territorial structuring systems possible. Nevertheless, most of the actions for their protection, restoration or enhancement are fulfiled in some isolated elements, not attempting to understand the line as a territorial system that is formed not only by the nodes but also by the connecting thread. Furthermore, the passage of time and the lack of use have made many heritage elements be in danger of disappearing, if not already disappeared. In this regard, this article emphasizes that the analysis of the disused railway lines should be performed with a comprehensive vision in order to achieve the same results for their protection or for future interventions. This paper aims to create a GIS-based inventory and a comprehensive analysis method for the characterization and classification of disused railway lines of a territory, understanding them as complex systems. The way to address the issue is to avoid the decomposition of the system and favour the maintenance of the structuring nature that the railway lines originally had in each territory, which is one of the most important features for their possible reuse in the new territorial view of the 21st century. In this way, the proposed methodology has been applied on the disused railway lines of the Basque-Navarre territory.

Keywords

comprehensive method, disused railway lines, GIS-based inventory, railway heritage.