Environmental Risks and Uncertainty with Respect to the Utilization of Recycled Rolling Stocks

Luca Póvoas de Souza Serrano, Tomasz Lewandrowski, Ping Liu, Sakdirat Kaewunruen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The railway industry is one of the most important sectors driving growth of regional economies worldwide. The industry has long dealt with both infrastructure and rolling stock. Many of these have reached the end of their lives. This paper highlights the rail policy for managing end-of-life rail vehicles. Initially when manufacturing rolling stock, different materials are considered in design and manufacture such as steel, aluminum, copper, polymers, glass. Based on the high economic and carbon costs of these materials, it is worthwhile to reuse or recycle them after their end-of-life cycle. In this study, three types of trains have been evaluated for comparison: freight, passenger and high speed. The material breakdowns from rail vehicles are evaluated for feasible applications in terms of reusing or recycling train components. We consider every material, taking into account the process of production, remaining life, advantages, disadvantages and potential threats derived from using such residual materials. The key aspects are risks and uncertainty associated with chemical and physical processes, corrosion and its varieties, oxidation, impact on the environment, release of toxicity, and pollution to the soil. These negative effects can indeed harm people, children, and assets in the vicinity. This paper therefore highlights the possibilities of recycling residual materials derived from rolling stock waste and any danger to the environment and the community, so that hazardous waste management can be put in place at the right time. Such insight will better shape sustainability policy for rolling stock procurement in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Article number10.3390/environments4030062
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sept 2017

Bibliographical note

Serrano, L.P.S.; Lewandrowski, T.; Liu, P.; Kaewunruen, S. Environmental Risks and Uncertainty with Respect to the Utilization of Recycled Rolling Stocks. Environments 2017, 4, 62.


  • rolling stock
  • environment
  • recycling
  • train components
  • steel
  • alumninium
  • copper
  • polymers
  • glass
  • sustainability


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