Plans for new and upgraded railway lines, as well as growth in traffic on existing lines, sometimes prompt strong adverse reactions from local residents due to concerns about increased noise and ground-borne vibration from railway lines.
Although rail is widely acknowledged to be the transport mode with the lowest environmental impact, noise and vibration caused by the interaction between the train and the track remains an important issue for the railway sector and their stakeholders as a whole.
The last number of years have seen significant development with regard to legislation, approvals, procedures, technical solutions and distribution of responsibilities amongst the various parties involved in order to reduce acoustic emissions.
Furthermore, there is now greater insight into the effects of noise and vibration emissions on local residents and a growing pressure on railway undertakings and infrastructure managers to keep reducing emission levels wherever feasible.
The rail sector must work within the framework of regulations and requirements set out by the European Commission, as well as national authorities, regional and city authorities, citizens’ groups and individuals, and must align these requirements with its own strategies.
The Train Track Interaction Sector (TTI) within the UIC Rail System Department has set out to address these concerns and provide roadmaps on this topic with a view to offering new solutions in close collaboration with the Sustainable Development Unit within the UIC Fundamental Values Department.
For that purpose, The TTI Sector will soon publish a White Paper on Acoustics, developed by highly qualified experts. This White Paper will reflect on the current situation and main issues, and will provide information on proposals for technical projects to conduct research and devise solutions for infrastructure managers and railway undertakings.
To disseminate these main issues of this White Paper, UIC wants to conduct a Workshop on Acoustics that brings together academia, the railway industrial sector, IMs and RUs and the leading researchers in the fields that have been covered by the White Paper:
- Noise source generation (rolling noise, rail roughness, aerodynamic noise, squeal and bridge noise, etc)
- Acoustic comfort, subjective perception and psychoacoustic indicators (interior and exterior noise)
- Ground-borne vibration
This workshop is likely to be of great interest to the whole railway community, contributing significantly to understanding and to identifying key issues for future research.