Tuesday 14 February 2017

Germany: Andreas Gehlhaar is the new head of noise protection

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Andreas Gehlhaar appointed DB Chief Noise Officer

Noise abatement an ever-greater priority for DB • Low-noise brake blocks and noise barriers to halve rail noise by 2020 compared to 2000 levels

Noise abatement is an ever-greater priority for Deutsche Bahn: as of 1 February 2017, the group’s Head of Environment Andreas Gehlhaar has also been its Chief Noise Officer, thus bringing environmental affairs and noise abatement under one roof.

In his new role, Mr Gehlhaar (45) will immediately take charge of noise-abatement activities and develop binding implementation strategies for DB’s various business units.

DB has made protecting people against rail noise one of its flagship policies, and has set itself the target of halving rail noise by 2020 compared to 2000 levels.

Mr Gehlhaar has been Head of Environment at DB since 1 June 2016. A economist by training, from 2009 to 2013 he was Chief of Staff at the German Federal Chancellery, where he remained until 2016, latterly as Group Director for all matters concerning the German Cabinet, Parliament and state-federal relations, as well as environment and transport.

Mr Gehlhaar said that: “Noise pollution from transport is a major source of discomfort for many people. That is why we are investing to markedly improve protection against railway noise, both trackside and via innovative onboard solutions on wagons.”

In particular, fitting wagons with low-noise brakes will improve matters significantly for those living near heavily-used rail lines. DB had already retrofitted 32,000 wagons – half its fleet – with such brakes by end of 2016, and expects that reducing noise pollution from existing lines will burnish rail’s credentials as a means of transport amongst those living near the railway. The role of Chief Noise Officer at DB was created in 2012.

(Source: Deutsche Bahn)

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Andreas Gehlhaar, the new head of noise protection © Deutsche Bahn AG