inter.noise 2000
The 29th International Congress and Exhibition on Noise Control Engineering
27-30 August 2000, Nice, FRANCE

I-INCE Classification: 6.7


F. Elbers, P. Van Der Stap

NS Technisch Onderzoek, Concordiastraat 67, 3551 EM, Utrecht, Netherlands

Tel.: +31 30 2358128 / Fax: +31 30 2359150 / Email:



This paper presents the results of the EU/ERRI sponsored project Economic study [1] for Silent Track, Silent Freight and Eurosabot. These Brite Euram projects have resulted in several noise reducing measures. The focus of this article is on the environmental impact of three different legislation scenarios. Each scenario gives results of up to seven different combinations of source reducing variants. Additional to a reference situation the variants. Within the Economic study the effectiveness of these measures is tested by applying them for a single European freight transit line from Rotterdam to Milano. The calculations are undertaken with the special purpose GIS Eurano99. The impact is expressed in length of noise barriers, number of insulationís of houses, number of wagons to improve and length of track to improve. The cost of the measures are calculated in Euro and are based on average prices.


Transport policy tend towards an increase of rail transport. There is a need for (a more stringent) noise legislation because of a growing awareness of local communities to railway noise. When noise legislation is being enacted the cost for noise measures becomes a major economic factor for the railways. Optimization of noise control will lead to an increase of large scale environmental benefit and a decrease of cost for noise measures.

Noise control measures were studied in three research projects within the EU Brite Euram program: (1) Silent Freight and (2) Silent Track for development of new technologies for low noise freight wagons and railway infrastructure and (3) EuroSabot for Sound Attenuation By Optimized Tread brake.

Within these projects railway companies, research organizations, supplying industry and governmental bodies worked together to find a number of new noise reducing measures. Measures that came out of these studies are tested in the Economic study.

The focus of this article is on the environmental impact of three different legislation scenarios. In [2] results of this study are presented with the focus the effectiveness of different source reduction configurations. [2] gives a more detailed description of the seven different combinations of source reduction variants. This article will only summarize these different combinations:

Noise calculations are undertaken with Eurano99: A noise policy tool for monitoring and prediction of large scale impact of railway noise [3].


This study will test the effect of three noise legislation scenario for (almost) each of the source reduction variants:

Noise reception values (Lden) are tested for the traffic flow in the year 2005.

There is made a distinction between additional measures for houses in urban and rural areas because of efficiency reasons. Noise barriers need to be placed along a relative large part of the line to reduce the noise for one building. In rural areas only a small amount of buildings will profit from the noise barrier. However in urban areas their is a large group of buildings who will profit from this barrier. A description of the method is given in [4].


Additional to the results presented in the report [1] calculation of cost is undertaken in three different ways:

The main results (cost and noise impact) of the economic study presented in three different cost units are given in figure 1. Every noise reduction variant has a different dot and dots valid for one legislation scenario are bounded in one box. The noise impact is expressed in total number of people annoyed. A dose-responds function is used to calculate a weighted total of people annoyed.


The economic study for railway noise results in the following major conclusions with respect to the environmental impact of three different legislation scenarios:

Figure 1: Main results (cost and noise impact) of the economic study presented in three different cost units.

Figure 2: Cost break down for noise measures of the economic study presented in three different cost units.


This work was performed within the EU Brite Euram projects Silent Freight, Silent Track and Eurosabot, co-ordinated by ERRI.


[1]   Frank Elbers and Rik van Haaren , European economic study on railway noise reduction measures , NS Technisch Onderzoek, 2000
[2]   Rik van Haaren, Economic study on railway noise: Effectiveness of different source reduction configurations, In Internoise2000, 2000
[3]   Frank Elbers and Jakob Oertli, Eurano99: Policy tool for strategy of railway noise, In Internoise2000, 2000
[4]   Gilles Janssen, Monitoring and predicting railway noise and its large scale impact on the environment; A tool for policy makers, Journal of Sound and Vibration, Vol. 193(1), pp. 253-260, 1996