Railway Pollution Control

Preventing and cleaning up pollution across the rail industry

The railway industry can cause catastrophic environmental damage and pollution to the environment. The most likely risk areas that may be a cause of pollution include:

Chemical contamination

Contamination can be caused by liquids and operational procedures including train wash detergent, hand washing to drains and during the transfer of chemicals from holding areas to washer unit areas.
Sewage effluent pumped off to holding units, detergents bulked storage containers, leaks or spills from antifreeze glycol containers can also cause pollution.
Drainage and/ or ground contamination, washer units CET, interceptor contamination designed for chemicals contaminated with diesel waste oils, de-charging toilet units, pumping distances, and allowing toilets to be emptied onto track can also provide a route for chemicals to contaminate the environment.

Oils Storage at engineering sites

Pollution risks include bulk storage oil, tanker or train, bulk container deliveries, overfilling tanks, undersized or leaking bund compounds, drip tray water contamination, stored drums non bunded, train maintenance on sidings, contaminated drainage to surface storm drains and porous surfaces, inadequate signage.

Historical ballast soil

Bio-remediation, non-intrusive, licensed, cost effective in-situ management control of ground water and surface water, visually enhances area, H&S management re: working on or near track to minimise contact with sewage and hydrocarbons.


Insufficient drainage plans, indiscriminate plant/vehicle washing to surface water areas, wrong connections to soakaways, leaks into drains from stored oil/ chemicals, faulty, poorly maintained or insufficient oil interceptors. Misuse of soakaway gullies, missing or faulty drain penstock control measures to capture contamination within the depot to seal off system till emergency clean-up can be applied.

Absorbents not fit for purpose

Inadequate spill kits and absorbents for the type and volume of liquid spill risk, poor positioning of spill kits delaying response to spill, lack of training in the correct use of spill kits will impact on response to spills to eliminate pollution risk.


Excessive use of mains water, faulty or broken rainwater gutters and downpipes can also be damaging to the environment.

How we can help

Darcy, in partnership with Waste Management Total Solutions, have developed a range of products and services tailored to the railway industry. Benefitting from Waste Management Total Solutions expertise in the rail industry, we can assist in the prevention and clean up of pollution promoting environmental best practice and compliance with legislation.

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