PM emissions from railways – Results of tests on a wheel-rail test bench

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - rail, technology - emissions, planning - methods


Railway, emissions


The sources of non-exhaust emissions from railways have been identified in the past. However, the quantification of the emission from railways is subject to a large degree of uncertainties, as published emission factors vary by orders of magnitude. The presented study aims a detailed quantification of the wheel-rail contact. For this reason, a series of tests at a wheel-rail test bench was conducted. The emission monitoring covered particle mass, particle size distribution and filter sampling in order to enable a chemical analysis of the particle composition. According to the test results the cumulative PM10 emissions of the wheel-rail contact (entire train) range from 0.33 to 5.57 g/km. The average proportions of PM2.5 and PM1 in the PM10 emissions were 87.5% and 68.46% respectively. While in straight-line driving and in wide curves the number of axles is the most dominant parameter, in tight curves, the bogie length becomes more relevant.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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