Air Quality Action Plan and Intervention – New Street Station

Air pollution from diesel emissions has become a key concern for goverment and communities. The rail has become under the spotlight following reports of poor air quality Birmingham's New Street station.


Air pollution from diesel emissions is becoming an increased international concern, and whilst attention has been primarily focused on the automotive industry, concerns have also been raised about emissions from diesel trains. Following the screening of a Channel 4 ‘Dispatches’ documentary, broadcast in February 2016 reported that air quality levels at Birmingham New Street station may pose a risk to worker and passenger health and safety.

The University of Birmingham carried out a consequent series of measurements of Diesel emissions as part of a research project at the Birmingham New Street station, with a mix of diesel and electric train movements, which is of particular concern because of the enclosed nature of the platforms. The University identified high levels of Nitric Oxide linked to the diesel emissions from trains and correlated with train idling at the station.


Azhar Quaiyoom of Q Sustain Ltd was approached by Network Rail Executive to create an Action Plan to engage with all stakeholders and train operators to improve the Air Quality at New Street Station.

Q Sustain embarked on creating a comprehensive detailed Action Plan that approached the challenge with a multi-faceted approach in engaging with train operators, train owners, and planned improvements to the extract ventilation system.


Q Sustain Ltd working with Network Rail have provided the Network Rail Senior management team with an action plan that has been endorsed by the rail regulator (ORR) and confirmed the legal requirements and obligations for air quality at a station.

Azhar of Q Sustain was praised by Network Rail’s Managing Director for our work in creating a robust plan in improving the air quality and looking into innovative ways and methods to improve the medium to long term diesel emission levels