Rail

Railway systems are fundamental for the transportation of goods and people and result in economic activity and growth. They are vital in helping companies move their goods in a cheap and efficient way. As a main form of public transport, railways play a significant role in providing more accessible and affordable travel, especially to low and middle income populations and urban communities. Railway infrastructure includes both passenger and freight transportation and consists of two main areas: rail operations, covering the construction and maintenance of rail infrastructure as well as the operation of rolling stock, such as locomotives and rail cars, and locomotive maintenance activities, including engine services, and other mechanical repair and maintenance of locomotives and railcars. The operation and maintenance of railways presents a number of potential environmental risks, such as air emissions from locomotives, noise and vibrations, waste management in maintenance facilities, right-of-way maintenance, and safety at rail crossings and with the transportation of hazardous materials. However, there are various opportunities to improve the environmental sustainability of railways, such as the use of more environmentally friendly fuels and efficient locomotives, the recycling of rolling stock, alternative materials for railway track and right-of-way maintenance, and the reduction of water and energy in rolling stock maintenance facilities.