Information published on 22 March 2016 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 490.

Germany: Noise reduction at DB

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Deutsche Bahn is to further intensify its noise control activities by speeding up considerably the process of refitting its wagons with low-noise brake blocks in 2016. By the end of the year, half of the DB Cargo fleet will be equipped with so-called “whisper brakes”, which considerably reduce railway noise. DB chairman Rüdiger Grube said in Berlin: “We must move more traffic off the roads and onto the tracks. This can only be achieved if, in the foreseeable future, local residents are subjected to lower noise levels. Together with policymakers, we are pushing this process forward as a matter of priority.”

DB currently holds roughly 21,000 wagons with the noise-reducing technology. By the end of the year, this figure will rise to 32,000 wagons. Refitting the wagons will cost DB Cargo alone around 230 million euros by 2020. The programme announced today will further increase that outlay. Retrofitting is also part-funded by the German government.

Alexander Dobrindt, Federal Minister for Transport and Digital Infrastructure, announced: “It is our goal to cut noise pollution by half by 2020. We are supporting the process of retrofitting wagons with low-noise braking technology which reduce noise pollution from trains. We will continue with this process until 2020, by which time any vehicle that has not been equipped with the noise-reducing technology will no longer be allowed to operate on the German network. To that end, we are currently preparing a new law.” Coinciding with this, government funds available for the voluntary noise reduction programme were topped up to 150 million euros during the course of this year.

Source: Deutsche Bahn