How parts cleaning contributes to a sustainable rail network.

Train going through countryside - sustainability symbols to the side

Helping the rail industry along its sustainable journey.  

In the UK, the rail industry is under increasing pressure to enhance operational efficiency and reduce its environmental impact. Metalwash offers bespoke parts washing services that leverage cutting-edge technologies and environmentally friendly practices to support a sustainable rail network.

The impact of legislation:

The UK government has laid out clear directives to ensure the sustainability of the rail industry, focusing on decarbonisation, environmental sustainability, and technological innovation. These directives are part of a broader effort to align the rail sector with the UK’s climate goals and to make the rail system more sustainable and environmentally friendly.

One of the key policy documents is the “Environmental sustainability on the railway: stating our priorities” issued by the Department for Transport. It covers various aspects including traction decarbonisation, air quality, decarbonising the rail estate, and waste management among others​​.

The “Sustainable Rail Blueprint” by the RSSB is another significant initiative. It serves as an industry-wide framework aiming to realise sustainable rail, providing a whole-industry view up to 2050.

The Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) has also been pivotal in developing a new Sustainable Rail Strategy, driven by the government’s Transport Decarbonisation Plan and Rail Environment Policy. This strategy emphasises rail’s role in the UK’s sustainable transport system and focuses on transitioning to cleaner and greener technologies.

Tailored solutions for the rail industry:

Metalwash Ltd. understands the unique demands of the rail industry, providing customised cleaning solutions that address the specific needs of rolling stock manufacturers and train networks. By offering a comprehensive assessment of each client’s requirements, Metalwash ensures that their services not only improve cleaning efficiency but also contribute to prolonging the lifespan of critical rail components. This approach helps in reducing the frequency of part replacements, thereby minimising waste and supporting sustainability goals.

Advanced Cleaning Technologies:

Metalwash Ltd. employs a range of state-of-the-art cleaning technologies designed to deliver superior results while minimising environmental impact. Their services include:

Automated Parts Washing Systems: Bespoke machinery designed to cater for the considerable variety of components that form part of a rail industry company’s or rail industry supplier’s MRO requirements. 

Ultrasonic Cleaning: Utilising high-frequency sound waves, this technology offers precision cleaning of intricate parts without the risk of damage, making it ideal for the delicate components found in rail applications.

Water-Based Cleaning Solutions: Metalwash’s commitment to sustainability is evident in their use of water-based detergents and additives. These solutions are not only effective in removing grease, oil, and other contaminants but are also biodegradable and environmentally friendly.

Our commitment to sustainability:

In alignment with the UK’s sustainability standards for the rail industry, Metalwash adopts eco-friendly practices across all its operations. By optimising the cleaning process parameters — including exposure time, operating temperature, and cleaner type — Metalwash maximises cleaning efficiency and minimises chemical use. Our industrial wastewater treatment systems further underscore our commitment to environmental stewardship, ensuring that all wastewater is treated and disposed of responsibly.

The Metalwash Difference:

Metalwash understands it is not just about offering sustainable technologies, it is also about frequency of visits and quality of visits, which also contribute to reducing the overall carbon footprint of all operations. That is why we make sure the service agreement matches the exact need of our clients, and that we offer a maintenance service that is second to none.


Contact us today to learn more about our solutions and how we can meet your industrial parts washing needs.