Hazard Hazardous materials within the construction of rolling stock
Knowledge and understanding
|Hazardous materials within the construction of rolling stock||
Understand all associated hazard knowledge
For further information refer to rail information documents
Asbestos (older rolling stock)
Most mainline rolling stock post-1980 is unlikely to contain significant amounts of asbestos, but small quantities may be present in some components. Older rolling stock has been subject to programmed removal of asbestos from accessible areas, but some may be present in enclosed structural areas, especially on heritage railways.
Asbestos containing materials (ACMs) that remain in refurbished rail vehicles used on Network Rail's infrastructure have been securely encapsulated. Therefore, fibre release and possible exposure should only occur when there is a fire and/or catastrophic failure of the vehicle, such as a result of a serious collision, for example. However identification of the possible existence of asbestos should always be sought and any potential exposure should be controlled, no matter the type of accident.
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are organic, oil-soluble materials of moderate toxicity. The main risk to firefighters is through skin absorption or inhalation, resulting in irritation to skin, eyes, nose and the respiratory tract.
All train operating companies are in the process of replacing components containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), but they may be found in older rolling stock, transformers and capacitors. If present, they will be indicated by a label on the vehicle body and equipment.
For further detail of specific hazardous materials, refer to DCLG Operational Guidance - Hazardous materials 2012.
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