Executive Summary

This report has been prepared to assess air quality for the proposed design of the Caulfield to Dandenong Level Crossing Removal Project. As part of the redevelopment of the rail corridor, air quality and emmissions are required to comply with the Victorian State Environment Protection Policy (Air Quality Management), 2001 (SEPP AQM). This report was generated using the section of rail alignment that extends from Carnegie Station to Murrumbeena Station and crosses Murrumbeena Road as its sample. The rail corridor in this area is adjacent to densely populated residential areas and is deemed to contain the most sensitive receptors with the potential for adverse air quality impacts for the entire project area.

An air quality assessment consisting of three scenarios were compared:

  • At Grade – The existing level crossings are not removed and the rail remains at grade
  • Rail Under – The level crossings are removed and the rail goes under the roads by means of cuttings
  • Rail Over – The level crossing are removed and the rail goes above the roads by means of elevated bridge structures

The key pollutants with the highest potential for non‐compliance with the criteria (State Environment Protection Policy (Air Quality Management), 2001) were identified as:

  • Nitrogen dioxide, NO2
  • Particulate matter with an equivalent aerodynamic diameter less than 10 microns, PM10
  • Particulate matter with an equivalent aerodynamic diameter less than 2.5 microns, PM2.5

Applicable air quality criteria was established using the State Environment Protection Policy (Air Quality Management), 2001 (SEPP AQM) which references the National Environment Protection (Ambient Air Quality)

Measure 2003 (NEPM AAQ).

Background pollutant concentrations are critical in the assessment process as this criteria assesses the total pollutant emissions from the rail as well as background pollutant concentrations. Background concentrations of the assessed pollutants were obtained from the nearest Environment Protection Authority (Victoria) air quality monitoring station to the railway alignment, located in Brighton.

The Air Pollution Model (TAPM), a CSIRO developed prognostic meteorological and air dispersion model, was used to develop the hourly meteorological data for the project area. The meteorological data was then incorporated into the CAL3QHCR air dispersion model which is a specialised air dispersion model for line sources such as roads and rail.

As a worst‐case assumption for this assessment, V/Line VLocity trains, which are predominantly two‐car sets consisting of diesel locomotives, are assumed to constitute all the trains travelling in an hour. The engine utilised by the trains is the Cummins QSK 19R diesel engine and pollutant emission factors were computed based on emissions data from the engine manufacturer and the railway line speed of 80 kilometres per hour. The train volumes for the modelled railway section were obtained from a study conducted by VicRoads (VicRoads, 2012). It is worth noting that the majority of trains operating on this line do not use diesel engines and will therefore not produce pollutant emissions associated with diesel engines. The trains are mainly Metro Trains Melbourne (MTM) electrified trains that do not produce significant pollutant emissions.

The modelling results for all three pollutants exhibit the same trend and the modelling results for PM10 and is representative of the modelled pollutants.

The modelling results are summarised below:

Scenario

Air Quality Impact

At Grade

Air quality criteria are not exceeded.

Rail Over

Air quality criteria are not exceeded.

Lowest pollutant concentration in rail corridor (50 metres from rail alignment) due to elevated height of pollutant release.

Marginally higher pollutant concentrations away from rail corridor (50 metres to 450 metres) than other scenarios.

Rail Under

Air quality criteria are not exceeded.

Highest pollutant concentration within rail corridor due to entrainment of pollutants in cutting.

Marginally lower pollutant concentrations away from rail corridor (50 metres to 450 metres) than other scenarios.

In conclusion, the Rail Over scenario provides an overall improvement in air quality than the other scenarios for those properties immediately adjacent to the rail corridor, and a better air quality outcome than a Rail Under scenario. Beyond the rail corridor, there is only a marginal difference between all three scenarios.

The findings of this assessment are representative for the At Grade, Rail Over and Rail Under scenarios throughout the Caulfield to Dandenong Level Crossing Removals and Rail Upgrade Project.

View the full Air Quality report PDF, 2.2 MB