Preventing nuisance caused by vibrations and low frequency noise along railway tracks

Stalen brug

Preventing nuisance caused by vibrations and low frequency noise along railway tracks

Wout Schwanen: "Passing trains and trams have a negative environmental impact on their surroundings in the form of (low frequency) noise or vibration nuisance. Measures that are effective against noise pollution aren't always automatically effective against vibration nuisance. Sometimes noise measures even have a negative effect on vibrations. Side effects should therefore always be taken into account when addressing vibration issues. Rail traffic vibrations are also a much less explored theme than noise pollution. This means we always deliver tailor-made solutions for vibration issues. In finding the best solution for you, our creative and flexible way of working really comes into its own."

Collaborating to solve nuisance issues

There are many aspects to combating vibration nuisance. This means that knowledge from various disciplines needs to be combined. Much of that knowledge is available within M+P. We also collaborate with international experts that are active within our organisation. Collaboration and the sharing of national and international experiences are therefore always at the forefront of our projects. 

Finding the best solution

In sound land, we use calculation and prediction models to determine the kind of noise reducing measures that are needed. This approach does not work for vibrations. Calculations often lead to unreliable results. That is why we usually also carry out measurements to analyse and solve your problem. We have an integral approach to vibrations and low frequency (LF) noise. And we don't just apply track or transmission measures. We also check if any architectural adaptations might reduce vibration nuisance.

Experience that counts

There is no standard approach for rail traffic vibrations: there is no standard method of calculation, no standard method of measurement, and the policy regarding vibration issues is still in its infancy, bar the Policy Rule Vibration Nuisance Railway Tracks (in Dutch: BTS). Fortunately, we can rely on our expertise and offer tailor-made solutions in this area: we checked the vibration transfer of the HSL-Zuid high-speed line’s design, offered advice and carried out measurements for the replacement of a railway bridge, we made forecasts for the construction of a railway tunnel and we took stock of and advised about vibration measurements during the construction of a new light rail connection. In short, we are familiar with every aspect in the fight against vibration nuisance.