Pollutants in the railway environment emanate both from emissions from the
traffic and from the treatment of embankments to control weeds and prevent
timber sleepers from rotting. During the last years particular attention has
been paid to air pollution from rail traffic. High concentrations of inhalable
particles (PM10) have been observed mainly in tunnel environments. This report
is an international literature survey aiming at compiling and synthezising
current knowledge concerning railway pollutants, their sources, dispersion and
possible measures to reduce pollution. The study does not take into account
point sources in connection to accidents or diesel powered railway traffic.
The main railway pollutants are identified as inhalable particles, herbicides,
PAH and heavy metals. Except for a compilation of current knowledge about
these pollutants, some lack of knowledge has been identified. More
comprehensive studies of railway pollution and pollutant dispersion in air,
soil and water are absent in the literature. For water recipients and other
sensitive environments exposed to railway pollution as well as for certain
rail stretches with potential considerable emissions, this kind of studies
should be well advised. Especially, understanding the relationship between
emission, dispersion and exposure is important if we are to take suitable
measures. An important knowledge gap concerns the formation, properties and
potential health effects of inhalable particles from railway traffic.
Inhalable particles in our ambient air are considered one of our most serious
health-related environmental problems. Therefore there is a need for increased
knowledge about railway contributions and health effects of pollutants in
different environments as well as about which measures are most effective.
Linköping: Statens väg- och transportforskningsinstitut, 2007. , 68 p.
Pollution, Emission, Train, Railway track, Embankment, Pollutant, Particle, Aromatic compounds, Herbicide, Lubrication, Heavy metal, Distribution, Deposit, Environment protection