The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) has released its first comprehensive sustainability guide for the rail sector.
On Track to a Sustainable Future contains best practice case studies from across Australia and overseas that show how sustainability can be embedded across all aspects of the rail supply line.
Examples include Inland Rail’s solar powered signaling system, the use of low-carbon concrete for the Sydney Metro West and hybrid energy storage systems used by the Adelaide Metro.
The guide also covers recycling, efficient management of rolling stock and establishing a decarbonisation strategy.
Launching the guide at the AusRAIL Plus conference in Sydney on Tuesday, ARA Chair Danny Broad said the ARA has significantly increased its focus on sustainability in the last three years.
“We are on the cusp of a significant period of change as our industry ramps up its efforts to decarbonise and governments establish their roadmaps to support our journey to net zero,” he told delegates.
“The guide provides clear steps … to integrate sustainability in all aspects of operation.”
‘We are on the cusp of a significant period of change as our industry ramps up its efforts to decarbonise and governments establish their roadmaps to support our journey to net zero.’Danny Broad
ARA says research shows the rail industry can help lead the decarbonisation of Australia and New Zealand’s transport networks.
Rail freight generates 16 times less carbon pollution than road, while one commuter train takes 578 cars off the road, CEO Caroline Wilke said.
“Continued investment in sustainable transport systems is critical to achieving net zero targets and will drive the economy and benefit the wider community,” she said.
Globally, rail operators, infrastructure owners and government rail agencies have committed to decarbonisation targets. The UK Network Rail has committed to be net zero by 2050, Amtrak in the US by 2045, Germany’s Deutsche Bahn by 2040 and Indian Railways by 2030.
ARA says more work to engage with stakeholders on how to implement sustainability measures will be completed next year.
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