Wednesday 24 March 2021

UIC state-of-the-art report on Railway noise in Europe

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“Rail is the most sustainable form of mass transport for both passengers and freight”. The latest UIC state-of-the-art report for railway noise in Europe begins with this sentence and provides information on what has been achieved in railways since the latest UIC state-of-the-art report, and how future developments are progressing.

The state-of-the-art report was commissioned by the UIC Sustainability Unit. M+P was contracted as author. This report was developed in close collaboration with their sister company Müller-Rail Technology and members of the UIC Noise and Vibration Sector and was presented to the relevant readers in February 2021.

Why a new state of the art report?
The UIC aims to regularly update and showcase the developments in noise and vibration issues on railways. The previous state-of-the-art report for railway noise in Europe was published in 2016 and since, several major improvements have been made in noise reduction in European railway networks. Among other topics, the important changes are the revision of the TSI, the publication of the European Green Deal, the WHO environmental noise guidelines and the report on environmental noise in Europe by the European Environment Agency. Furthermore, railway operators, infrastructure managers and other stakeholders in the last years have had the opportunity to share their research and developments on noise mitigation methods they have made in recent years. Considering all these developments, UIC aims to disseminate this information by hosting a webinar and with a new report. The new report describes the recent railway noise developments and provides an overview of the activities the railways sector is undertaking to improve the railway noise situation and to prepare for future increase in traffic.

Target audience
The new report covers a wide range of railway noise ranging from technical issues, noise abatement measures, cost and health impacts, to European and national policy. The strategy of the report is to provide an in-depth introduction and inform all aspects of this wide range of information on railway noise. The report targets to reach 4 groups which are mainly on the followings:

  • Policy makers interested in learning more about technical issues and concerns of the sector regarding EU policies.
  • Engineers interested in policy and legislation and want to update their knowledge on the current status.
  • Experienced readers who need to be able to find current topics collectively in a document and aim to further develop this information.
  • For those new to the topic of railway noise who would like to gain an in depth understanding of the subject.

Writing process
European solutions on railway noise require consideration of the situation in all countries separately. To write the state-of-the-art report, M+P conducted an extensive literature study, ranging from conference proceedings and scientific journals to position papers and communications from policy makers. Of course, since it is not possible to find all answers with the literature search, M + P has established close relations with the European members of the UIC during the contract period, strengthening the information exchange for this report and enabling the data exchange and verification of the information in the literature research. The core group of the Noise and Vibration Sector steered the writing process and reviewed the draft versions of the report. Moreover, the core group members collected additional information and suggestion from the representatives of European Commission, CER and other stakeholders. As a result of this feedback exchanges, M+P managed to analyse recommendations, to summarise all information and to merge all different opinions together. Finally, this comprehensive study was published as a state-of-the-art report approved by European railways. At a time when physical meetings are unfortunately impossible due to the pandemic, UIC and M+P are proud to have delivered and presented this report to the interested public.

Where to find the report?
The report was presented during the 2-day UIC Railway Noise Days webinar. If you have not downloaded the report yet or if you have missed the seminars, please have a look at the UIC’s playlist on YouTube and the links for all documents:

For further information, please contact Pınar Yılmazer: yilmazer@uic.org

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