For soil improvement and vegetation establishment on steep, dry slopes with little or no soil.

Our system is specially developed for railway banks and other steep embankments with poor soils, it is an exceptional soil improver which helps rapid vegetation establishment, even on Type-1 aggregate and steep slopes, preventing erosion and improving amenity.

It can be used in combination with a proprietary hydroseeding material to successfully provide soil treatment for steep slopes such as railway embankments and road sidings.

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Embankment prior to treatment Embankment following treatment with additional landscape tree planting Applying HydraCX in August 2010 Aberdare mountain road Maerdy with slip 2
Hydroseeding a railway embankment with a mix including TerraRhizae

The system has been specially formulated to solve environmental problems associated with the types of embankments found near railways:

  • Steep slopes of more than 33° requiring bank stabilisation
  • Unvegetated, dry slopes needing erosion prevention and slippage control
  • Crushed Type-1 aggregate or 6F2 fill commonly used on railway embankments needing topsoil or grassy vegetation cover
  • Poor or limited soil with few nutrients and minerals to sustain plant growth or functioning ecosystems
  • Low levels of organic matter
  • Neutral to alkaline soil requiring soil treatment
  • Poor land drainage leading to flooding and erosion
  • Poor water filtration and too little moisture absorption for plant life to thrive


  • Boosts depleted soils with nutrients, minerals and trace elements
  • British Biochar Foundation Accredited
  • Easy to handle and mix
  • Environmentally sustainable
  • Improves conditions for biological activity
  • Improves drainage and soil aeration
  • Improves the resilience of plants to pests and diseases
  • Promotes good structure by creating spaces within the soil
  • Provides opportunities for thriving microbial populations

In Depth

This system has clear environmental benefits and meets the requirements for the sustainable management of natural resources.

It improves land drainage and manages flood risk, particularly in areas with steep, unvegetated slopes.

Other benefits for industry include:

  • Affordability
    • The sustainable biochar used to produce Rail is low cost and the product as a whole is substantially cheaper than traditionally expensive friable topsoil replacement or geocell products.
  • Efficacy
    • When used as a hydroseeding additive, it is demonstrably more effective than standard hydroseeding. Independent large-scale slope testing has shown it to be 99.6% effective in soil erosion prevention and to have faster vegetation establishment.
    • Drainage and soil oxygenation are drastically improved, with conditions for earthworm activity encouraged. Rain and runoff have the opportunity to be absorbed by the newly established vegetation, removing the previously dry exposed slope’s limiting factor for vegetation growth.
  • Environmental sustainability
    • It improves the resilience of plants to pests and diseases, provides opportunities for thriving microbial populations and boosts depleted soils with nutrients, minerals and trace elements.
    • The natural environment is enhanced with the establishment of a “healthy, functioning ecosystem” as required by the Well-being of Future Generations Act.
    • There is a genuine and measurable carbon sequestration value, contributing to any calculated offset, which assists construction companies’ to meet their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) goals.

Our package consists of sustainably produced and amended biochars.

It works in the following ways:

  • It is used as a hydroseeding additive and can be applied directly onto aggregate, 6F2 fill material or similar areas of little or no soil to establish vegetation on steep, dry, free-draining slopes.
  • It is an amended matrix of sustainable biochar with naturally occurring nutrients and minerals specifically targeted towards alkaline soils.
  • It provides long-term access to minerals and plant nutrients during the establishment, early stages of growth and maturity of vegetation.
  • Soil structure is promoted and spaces within the soil are created, leading to improved soil aeration.
  • Water retention within the root zone of growing plants is enabled.
  • Once the biochars have successfully encouraged vegetation establishment, the plants increase the roughness of the slope’s profile. Moisture is able to ingress, thus improving vegetation growth and sustaining a functioning ecosystem. Water filtration properties improve, limiting flood events.

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