Progress report on railway noise in Europe for the IGNA

M+P has composed a state-of-the-art report for the Interest Group on Traffic Noise Abatement, led by the Swiss Federal office for the Environment. The study addresses the technical and political aspects of controlling and mitigating railway noise in Europe. The results of the study were presented at the meeting of the IGNA group in April 2014 in Amsterdam with representatives of the European Commission and the European Railway Agency.

The study has concentrated on freight traffic since this type of traffic is related to the hot spots along the major transport axes. This explains the interest from policy makers to develop international approaches to control the acoustic performance of freight trains. The challenges are the following:

  • to reduce the noise emission of  the  influx of new rolling stock by optimizing the TSI-noise, both in terms of limit values and in terms of application field
  • to improve the acoustic quality of existing rolling stock by incentives when low noise wagons are used through a Noise Differentiated Track access Charge (NDTAC)
  • to improve cost/benefit ratio of retrofitting existing rolling stock through the homologation of LL brake blocks
  • to eventually prevent application of noisy brake blocks by a complete ban on cast iron blocks.

The study presents developments in these fields on both political and technical level and discusses relations with annoyance due to vibration and relations with safety and sustainability.

The first study adressed road traffic noise and findings were reported in 2012.

June 2014

Actueel type:

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