Air protection

In its operations, Russian Railways seeks to minimise air pollutant emissions from stationary and mobile sources. The Company conducts regular internal checks of mainline and shunting diesel locomotives and track maintenance equipment for compliance with technical standards for air pollutant emissions through the use of environmental monitoring points furnished with diagnostics facilities. Emissions are also measured following diesel locomotive rheostat testing.

Emissions by category, kt
GRI 305-7
2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Solids 14.1 13.5 11.8 10 9.3 8.2
Carbon monoxide (CO) 23.3 22 20.8 18.5 17.4 16.9
Sulphur dioxide (SO2) 14.2 13.3 11.9 10.5 9.5 8.8
Nitrogen oxides (NO2) 7.4 7.1 6.8 5.7 4.9 4.5
Hydrocarbons (CnHm) 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1
Volatile organic compounds 2.9 2.7 2.2 1.9 1.5 1.3
Other gases and liquids 0.3 0.3 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1
Carbon monoxide (CO) 30.2 31 30.7 28.7 29.4 25.6
Hydrocarbons (CnHm) 15.4 15.9 15.7 14.6 15.1 15.5
Nitrogen oxides (NOХ) 111.4 114.6 113.5 105.5 108.8 103.2
Soot 6.8 7 6.9 6.4 6.6 6.0

Stationary sources

Emissions from stationary sources make up around 21% of all emissions by Russian Railways.

The decrease is due to energy efficiency and saving initiatives, including upgrades and the use of alternative fuel in boilers. At present, gas boilers produce as much as 45.7% of heat energy.

We are also increasing the share of alternative energy used in hot water and heat supply systems (solar collectors and heat pumps). We replaced small coal and diesel boilers with 45 boilers running on pellet fuel. The Company is also reconstructing and installing new dust collection and gas purification facilities.

Mobile sources

Emissions from mobile sources make up around 79% of gross emissions of which approximately 88% come from mainline and shunting diesel locomotives. Initiatives to make transportation more energy efficient helped us reduce diesel driven transportation, cut downtime and time to cover delay for passenger trains, and decrease per unit diesel consumption in train traction. These steps resulted in lower per unit air emissions from mobile sources.

Modern rolling stock with improved environmental performance

In 2022, Russian Railways’ fleet received 19 special self-propelled vehicles, 11 railbuses, 66 electric trains, 360 railway cars, and 602 locomotives, including 292 new series diesel locomotives and 310 electric locomotives, (275 freight and 35 passenger locomotives). The purchase of new traction rolling stock in 2022 serves to bring down air emissions.

Today, Russian Railways uses electric traction to transport more than 86% of cargo and 85% of passengers. For instance, СО2 emissions generated by one passenger travelling from St Petersburg to Moscow by train are nearly four and five times lower than those from the same trip by car and plane, respectively.

Modern rolling stock with improved environmental performance