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Noise from parked and stationary trains: An analysis of operational and technical solutions

Ed. no.1| February 2023
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Noise from trains at a standstill, in particular from parked trains, is still causing noise nuisance to lineside residents. With the ambition to be a caring neighbour, this particular situation causing noise on railways needs to be further considered and minimised in collaboration with all railway stakeholders. UIC, together with the members of the Noise and Vibration (NV) Sector, strives to raise awareness and exchange information among its members and other stakeholders, and advocates an international consideration of the issue. In this context, within the scope of the technical advice on noise and vibration (NOVITÀ) project, a study on noise from parked and stationary trains was initiated with the following objectives:

Establish a critical analysis of the current state,

- Develop a common understanding of the topic,

- Update existing literature information,

- Gather and analyse information on existing measurement data,

- Share the findings to the public

The main findings of this cross-national, multi-stakeholders’ analysis are as follows:

- The entire railway sector, including infrastructure managers, railway operators, rolling stock manufacturers and policy makers are in agreement that noise from trains at a standstill has to be controlled and reduced through a combination of studies, action and future planning.

- A well-established and mutually agreed acoustic database is required to define limit values for noise from trains at a standstill and in particular from parked trains. It is recommended to prepare a dedicated measurement campaign for noise from parked trains based on a common approach to be agreed between the different stakeholders.

Alongside these findings, this report reveals that a range of mitigation measures are available and suggests two following relatively simple solutions for noise from trains at a standstill:

- The most efficient and effective implementation of the required standstill mode by the train driver should be monitored and supervised by team leaders and provided with training and incentives.

- Some other non-rail-based stakeholders (e.g., local authorities with regard to land use planning or regional authorities defining tenders for new rolling stock) seem to have either limited awareness of potential noise issues from trains at a standstill or do not have the prior experience or awareness to recognise them. Awareness raising could be targeted by collaborative dialogue, and tailored training could be provided. This is seen as one of the most effective ways to prevent potential problems and ensuring the quality of life of residents following activities beyond the control of railway stakeholders.

UIC Noise and Vibration Sector

Author UIC
ISBN 978-2-7461-3217-7
Pages 60

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Ed. no.1
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Environment Operations Passenger Sustainable development