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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 104
Edited by: J. Pombo
Paper 284

Acoustic Performance of Railways: A Case Study in Germany

H. Guler, B. Fath and T.P. Akyol

Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Mechatronics, Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences, Germany

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
H. Guler, B. Fath, T.P. Akyol, "Acoustic Performance of Railways: A Case Study in Germany", in J. Pombo, (Editor), "Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Railway Technology: Research, Development and Maintenance", Civil-Comp Press, Stirlingshire, UK, Paper 284, 2014. doi:10.4203/ccp.104.284
Keywords: railway, noise, vibration, acoustic vibration.

The main function of a railway track is to ensure that the trains move on the rails safely and economically. However, railway components and railway engineering structures are subject to high and permanent strains. In addition to material failures, weather influences and the effects of railway traffic can lead to various types of damage resulting in deteriorated track geometry. If the railway track is not perfectly levelled and aligned, these faults cause oscillations or vibrations of the railway vehicles finally ending with an uncomfortable journey both for the passenger and freight transportation. In addition, the vibrations cause a noise in the environment. Of course, the noise and vibration levels depend not only of the design and state of the track, but also of the vehicle properties. While long wavelength undulations of the railway track cause low-frequency oscillations of the train, short wavelength irregularities of the railway track cause vibrations and noise, both in the train and in the environment. Oscillations, vibrations, and noise may cause various undesirable situations for the train passengers and for people in the surrounding area along the railway line. The most important conclusions on railway noise and vibrations were presented in this research. In addition, some laboratory and field tests were realized to measure airborne noise, structure borne noise and ground borne noise of railways in Germany. During the measurement process, advanced data acquisition systems, computer package programs for analyzing, microphones, impulse hammers and accelerometers were used. Based on these measurements, the acoustic performance of railways was determined and some suggestions were made.

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