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Reduction of noise emissions from trams

Trams are among the most environmentally friendly means of transport and are rightly the backbone of sustainable mobility in many cities. But they require a relatively large amount of the scarce transport space and produce quite a bit of noise. Squealing curves and rumbling, for example, are perceived as a nuisance by people living along the railway lines.

Since the tram network is also to be significantly expanded in the course of the ecological transport turnaround, noise must be reduced in order to achieve broad acceptance among the population. For this reason, STUVA, together with research partners, carried out a study on behalf of the Federal Environment Agency, which comprehensively investigated possibilities for reducing noise emissions from trams in urban areas.

The publication, which is now available free of charge (see link), not only shows ways in which trams can be operated with low noise and thus in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner. The team of authors has also investigated who has the greatest scope for action to implement noise reduction measures in a meaningful way. The research work presents a whole catalogue of different noise reduction measures that reduce rolling noise, curve noise and parking noise. In addition to these technical measures, operational measures are also discussed. The topic of noise monitoring is also presented extensively and the advantages are shown.

Highest effectiveness against rail noise: wetting of the rail from the vehicle
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Dr.-Ing. Dirk Boenke
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