The Air Quality Improvement Measures project, carries out a high-level technology feasibility and cost study to explore potential air quality improvement measures for rail. The study included technological measures as well as operational and infrastructure measures, both on and off the train. Measures were split into those which reduce emissions at source and measures which reduce exposure.

In summary the study found the most effective ways of reducing emissions throughout the rail network include:

  1. retrofit exhaust after-treatment systems
  2. reducing the diesel on-time or on-power-time through:
  • selective Engine Shutdown
  • powertrain hybridisation
  • stop-start technology.

It is important to ensure the right type of measures are taken at the right place and that the cost / benefit relationship I fully understood prior to investment. 

RSSB is investigating various mechanisms, in particular the feasibility of an incentivisation scheme to encourage uptake. This includes the determination of the external cost of rail in selected sample areas, so that the overall benefit of any incentivisation scheme can be assessed in net financial terms by comparing external cost against any internal costs associated with the emissions reduction measure and incentivisation costs to promote their adoption.

Air Quality Improvement Plans

As detailed in the Rail Environmental Policy Statement, the Stations Air Quality Monitoring Network (AQMN), funded by the DfT, will identify where improvements are needed by collecting air quality data at selected stations. Responsible organisations will be required to produce Air Quality Improvement Plans for the locations identified.

Our Good Practice Guide, ‘Developing Air Quality Improvement Plans’ provide support and clarity on the development of AQIPs to fulfil Business Plan Commitment requirement.