From December 2012, the German Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development, together with Deutsche Bahn, plan to introduce a noise-differentiated track access charging system. A framework agreement to this end was signed on 5 July by German Transport Minister Dr Peter Ramsauer and DB AG President Dr Rüdiger Grube.
The aim is to achieve a significant and long-term reduction of railway noise. This charging system provides for a surcharge to be levied on trains that are not equipped with “low-noise” brakes and a bonus for wagons which have been technically upgraded to use “low-noise” brakes. The upgraded brakes enable the noise levels of these wagons to be reduced by around 10 dB(A), with bonuses paid directly to wagon operators. The cost of retrofitting some 180,000 wagons in Germany is estimated at over 300 million Euros.
(Source: Deutsche Bahn AG)