Tuesday 26 March 2019

12th UIC Workshop on Noise and Vibrations held on 19 March 2019 in Paris

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UIC held the 12th UIC Noise Workshop in Paris on 19 March 2019. Around 100 participants met at UIC HQ for this annual event. The workshop was designed to bring together a wide range of railway stakeholders in order to facilitate an open, inclusive and constructive discussion regarding the current situation, challenges and possible solutions for managing environmental noise from the rail sector.

Mr Francois Davenne, Deputy Director General of UIC, reminded the meeting that “whilst rail has the lowest environmental impact of any major mode of transport – in Europe at least, noise remains a critical issue. We all have to work together to ensure greater acceptance of rail transport if we are to increase rail modal share and through this to improve the sustainability of the transport sector.” He also emphasised the need to move beyond completion between transport modes and collaborate on optimising inter-modality.

The first session focused on the latest issues at European level for the management of railway noise and vibration. The first presentation aimed to explain the noise policy in Europe, with presentations by Mr Nino Zambara from the European Commission, Directorate General MOVE (Mobility and Transport). The discussion addressed rail freight noise reduction, the revised TSI noise and the application of the charging for the cost of noise effects. This was followed by Mr Marco Paviotti of the European Commission DG ENV (Environment) who presented an Environmental Noise Directive (END) and common noise assessment methods for Europe. The session concluded with a presentation by Mr Ethem Pekin concerning the rail freight noise strategy of the Community of European Railways (CER). During the first session, opportunities were provided for participants to ask questions directly to European Commission policy officers and other key stakeholders as well as to discuss the current issues.

The second session opened with Mrs Sabine Janssen from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, the Netherlands who was also part of the Guideline Development Group of the WHO Noise Guidelines. She addressed the development, by the World Health Organisation, of new environmental noise guidelines for the European region. In conclusion to her presentation, she reminded the meeting that the WHO provides guidelines which are not noise exposure limit values for European legislation and recommended to perform the cost-benefit analysis to find what is feasible at national level. This was followed by a look at the approach of the Shift2Rail project about Cross Cutting Activities, with Mrs Judit Sandor and Mrs Siv Leth who presented the objectives of S2R and some examples from funded projects. This was followed by Till Bunsen from the International Energy Agency (IEA) who presented the report on the “Future of Rail” (https://www.iea.org/futureofrail/), which reflects the cooperation between UIC and IEA. He emphasised that rail remains the most energy efficient transport mode, integrated policies for all modes needed to reach climate objectives. The second session concluded with Mr Alf Ekblad, Chairman of the UIC Vibration Expert Network & Trafikverket, who presented current issues on vibrations in the railways.

The final session considered the various requirements on the noise and vibration mitigation management of railway transport. It was planned as short talks – five minute presentations. This opened with Mr Günter Dinhobl from ÖBB, Austria and was followed by Mr Ward Verhelst (Belgium/Infrabel), Mrs Lenka Vaňková (Czech Republic/SZDC), Mrs Lisette Mortensen (Denmark/Banedanmark), Mr Jean-Philippe Regairaz (France/SNCF), Mrs Martina Fleckenstein (Germany/ DB), Mr Nils Ijntema (Netherlands/Prorail/NS), Mr Trygve Aasen (Norway/Bane NOR), Mrs Joanna Salawa (Poland/PKP Cargo S.A), Mrs Karin Blidberg (Sweden/ Trafikverket) and Mr Jakob Oertli (Switzerland/SBB).

In the concluding remarks, the workshop’s moderator Mr Jakob Oertli, Chairman of the UIC Noise Expert Network & SBB, thanked all speakers and participants and observed that the workshop provided a wide variety of perspectives, both in modalities and countries. At the closure of the workshop, the video of the UIC Network Noise and Vibration Working Group was presented and is now available on UIC’s YouTube channel which can be seen here:

  • The speech given by Mr François Davenne during this Noise Workshop is available here:


For further information please contact Pınar Yılmazer, Senior Advisor for the Sustainable Development Unit:


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