RAIL ENVIRONMENTAL CASE STUDIES . Neil Hammer New Metro Rail, Perth. Issue 1: Contaminated sites. Yard and depot areas Workshops Leased premises Likely soil and/or contamination from asbestos products, petroleum hydrocarbons, heavy metals, chlorinated hydrocarbons and pesticides.
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New Metro Rail, Perth
1. A large railway workshop on 40 hectares of land closed down and the land rezoned for mixed use. An environmental investigation found massive contamination.
2. A locomotive maintenance facility was constructed on land reclaimed from a former marsh area. Underground pipes from reticulated fuel systems corroded with heavy loss of diesel fuel into soil and waterways.
1. In a housing estate adjacent to a freight railway, a residence some 45 metres from the track experienced sufficient ground borne vibration to smash touching wine glasses in a living room cabinet.
2. A passenger railway track near to a theatre complex was constructed using resilient rail fasteners to dampen train-induced vibration.
3. A new freight by-pass railway line into a coastal city was to be constructed in a corridor passing close to a technical college, school and a residential area.
1. A branch line train derailment on a hot and dry day spilled 20 tonnes of bulk ammonium nitrate and 10,000 litres of diesel fuel into a common drain.
2. A night time railway yard derailment caused diesel fuel to spill from an overturned tank car into the stormwater drainage system.
3. A derailment on the Nullabor Plain just inside the Western Australian border resulted in a significant spill of tolylene diisocyanate liquid from an overturned tank container.
1. In an effort to minimise track maintenance costs, the use of a persistent herbicide was promoted in rural areas.
2. The newly proposed Perth to Mandurah railway was primarily located in rail reserves established in 1994. These reserves are now recognised to pass through environmentally sensitive areas.