Stormwater quality management in rail transportation - Past, present and future

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Journal Article
Science of the Total Environment, 2015, 512-513 pp. 353 - 363
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© 2015 Elsevier B.V. Railways currently play an important role in sustainable transportation systems, owing to their substantial carrying capacity, environmental friendliness and land-saving advantages. Although total pollutant emissions from railway systems are far less than that of automobile vehicles, the pollution from railway operations should not be underestimated. To date, both scientific and practical papers dealing with stormwater management for rail tracks have solely focused on its drainage function. Unlike roadway transport, the potential of stormwater pollution from railway operations is currently mishandled. There have been very few studies into the impact of its operations on water quality. Hence, upon the realisation on the significance of nonpoint source pollution, stormwater management priorities should have been re-evaluated. This paper provides an examination of past and current practices of stormwater management in the railway industry, potential sources of stormwater pollution, obstacles faced in stormwater management and concludes with strategies for future management directions.
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