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Quiet Tracks for Sustainable Railway Infrastructures

Final Report Summary - QUIET-TRACK (Quiet Tracks for Sustainable Railway Infrastructures)

Executive Summary:
The Quiet-Track project deals with track based solutions for reducing railway rolling noise. Quiet-Track deals with situations where the track noise contribution is important in the global pass-by noise, i.e. surface rail transport with speeds between 20 and 200 km/h. In order to obtain the highest possible impact with the resources available, Quiet-Track focuses on very effective track based rolling noise mitigating solutions for trams, regional trains, surface metro and trains in an urban environment with direct application possibility to conventional railway tracks outside the city. The objective is to provide step changing track based noise mitigation systems and maintenance schemes, to provide reliable improved TSI based rolling noise calculation procedures with harmonized monitoring of the required input parameters and to provide track noise management tools, for use in noise mapping and hot spot action plans according to the END, for use as engineering tools and solutions in new railway projects and in refurbishment projects and for use by the track maintenance managers and track maintenance industry.
The existing rolling noise models are enhanced with new fundamental features: the integration of the low frequency noise emission and of the actual wheel rail contact conditions for more accurate predictions of the noise emitted by the track. On-board monitoring systems based on noise measurements and location sensors are developed that continuously monitor rail roughness values, track decay rate values and wear to identify track locations where maintenance action is required or where mitigating solutions have to be applied.
New track solutions, including embedded track systems, are developed which yield a noise reduction performance of at least 6 dB(A) in comparison with the global rolling noise measured on a well maintained standard track in the network of the participating infra managers. These new systems are applicable to tram, LRT and metro tracks as well as to conventional tracks. Attention is given to a good initial design with a procedure for selecting the best rail type and the best rail hardness in terms of minimising the noise related wear. Rail fixation systems are developed and validated exhibiting minimal rail roughness growth, avoiding corrugation in curves. A track maintenance tool is developed with a checking of the economic viability of the proposed maintenance activities. Holistic noise management tools for track maintenance and for track based noise mitigation solutions have been created.
Recommendations have been drafted for updating the TSI Noise based upon relevant findings in the project.

Project Context and Objectives:
See uploaded document 02_Context&objectives.pdf

Project Results:
See uploaded document 03_S&T-results-foregrounds.pdf

Potential Impact:
See uploaded document 04_Dissemination&Exploitation.pdf