Railway noise and vibration

We are a global leader in Railway Noise and Vibration Research and Consultancy. ISVR Consulting working alongside colleagues in the ISVR Dynamics Group have a team of specialists with a unique understanding of noise and vibration from overground and underground trains, track and tramways.

  

Services for the Rail industry

We provide a comprehensive range of services related to the modelling and means of control of Railway Noise and Vibration including:

Track decay rate testing

Track decay rate measurements

  • Prediction of rolling noise (“TWINS”)
  • Optimisation of train wheels and track structural design for low noise
  • Prediction of curve squeal
  • Theoretical modelling of ground-borne vibration and ground-borne noise.
  • Bridge noise modelling and optimisation of bridge structures to reduce noise.
  • Environmental noise impact of new and existing railway lines
  • Design and evaluation of noise mitigation measures e.g. rail and wheel dampers, barriers, and low-noise track forms.

We are experienced and fully equipped to measure railway noise and factors related to it, including:

Finite element model of a train wheel

  • Internal and external train noise (ISO 3381 and ISO 3095)
  • Ground-borne noise and vibration
  • Wheel and rail roughness (EN 15610)
  • Track decay rates (EN 15461)
  • Environmental noise

See also: Train cabs, noise and warning sounds

LATEST NEWS:

New journal articles

Mitigation of railway induced ground vibration by heavy masses next to the track. A. Dijckmans*, P. Coulier*, J. Jiang‡, M.G.R. Toward‡, D.J. Thompson‡, G. Degrande*, G. Lombaert* Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering Volume 75, August 2015, Pages 158–170
(‡ ISVR University of Southampton; *KU Leuven, Department of Civil Engineering, Belgium.) 
NB. This paper may be downloaded free of charge from the journal website, but only until 18 June 2015.

Reducing freight wagon noise at the source.  Freight wagons remain the source of high levels of noise despite European legislation prohibiting the use of cast-iron brake blocks on new wagons. Dr Martin Toward, Dr Giacomo Squicciarini, and Professor David Thompson from the University of Southampton’s Institute of Sound and Vibration Research look at current efforts to mitigate rolling noise and curve squeal from freight rolling stock. International Raiway Journal, March 2015, pp 47-49.  Reprinted with permission.  The full journal is available on subscription from the IRJ website.

 

Facilities for studying railway noise and vibration

ISVR's 36 m test track

The ISVR 36 metre test track fitted with rail dampers

Wheel roughness measurement equipment

Wheel roughness measurement equipment

Scale track model

Scale model track

Within the ISVR we have a unique range of facilities that can be applied to measurement and investigation of railway noise:

  • ISVR test track a 36 metre section of realistic mainline track
  • Acoustic camera that can be used to provide information on sources of traction, rolling and aerodynamic noise
  • Wheel and rail roughness measurement equipment
  • Rail damper test facility
  • Reverberation chambers and an anechoic chamber, including a high-velocity open jet aero-acoustic wind tunnel for the investigation of aerodynamic noise sources
  • Dynamic stiffness test rig – facility for measuring the dynamic properties of track components under preload
  • Scale track model – facility for investigating the noise absorption and radiation of track components

 

Projects

Working for infrastructure operators, train manufacturers and consultants, we have an impressive portfolio of high-profile clients on projects that include:

Development of rail damper test procedure (‘STARDAMP’)

Development of the rail damper test procedure (“STARDAMP”)

  • Crossrail
  • Blackpool tram extension
  • Manchester Metrolink extension
  • High Speed 1
  • Thessaloniki Underground Complex
  • Croydon Tramlink
  • Jubilee Line extension
  • London Underground, ground vibration measurement and modelling
  • Delhi Metro

 

 

Research

Research and innovation is central to our ethos. Together with the ISVR Dynamics Group we collaborate on long and short term UK and EU research projects. Recent projects we have been involved with include:

  • STARDAMP - Development of test methods to evaluate rail and wheel dampers
  • RIVAS  (Railway Induced Vibration Abatement Solutions) - Modelling ground-borne vibration mitigation measures
  • TRACK21 (Railway Track for the 21st Century) - Evaluating noise implications of novel track forms
  • MOTIV (Modelling Of Train Induced Vibration) - Improving modelling of ground-borne vibration
  • ACOUTRAIN - Virtual certification of acoustic performance for freight and passenger trains

 

Research aimed at improving track design

See the online page for our video
Research aimed at improving track design

Published papers on railway noise and vibration

 

ISVR Consulting has contributed to the following papers associated with Railway Noise and Vibration.

  • Mitigation of railway induced ground vibration by heavy masses next to the track. A. Dijckmans, P. Coulier, J. Jiang‡, M.G.R. Toward*, D.J. Thompson‡, G. Degrande, G. Lombaert Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering Volume 75, August 2015, Pages 158–170
    NB. This paper may be downloaded free of charge from the journal website, but only until 18 June 2015. After that date, the journal will charge a fee for downloading unless you have a subscription.
  • Reducing freight wagon noise at the source.  Martin Toward, Giacomo Squicciarini, David Thompson. International Raiway Journal, March 2015, pp 47-49.  Reprinted with permission.  The full journal is available on subscription from the IRJ website.
  • The influence of soil conditions on railway induced ground-borne vibration and relevant mitigation measures.  J Jiang‡, M G R Toward*, A Dijckmans, D J Thompson‡, G Degrande, G Lombaert.  The 21st International Congress on Sound and Vibration; 13-17 July 2014, Beijing, China.
  • Mitigation of railway induced vibration by using subgrade stiffening and wave impeding blocks. M G R Toward*, J Jiang‡, A Dijckmans, P Coulier, D J Thompson‡, G Degrande, G Lombaert.  Proceedings of the 9th International Conference On Structural Dynamics, EURODYN 2014; 30 June - 2 July 2014, Porto, Portugal.
  • Mitigation of railway induced vibrations by using heavy masses next to the track. A Dijckmans, P Coulier, J Jiang‡, M G R Toward*, G Degrande, G Lombaert, D J Thompson‡. Proceedings of the 9th International Conference On Structural Dynamics, EURODYN 2014; 30 June - 2 July 2014, Porto, Portugal.
  • Track and trackside - Damping down noise.  A case study of the effects of a track renewal on train noise.  Martin Toward*, Giacomo Squicciarini and David Thompson‡ (pdf).  Reprinted with permission from Rail Professional pp 83 and 85, Issue 199, February 2014.
  • Estimating the performance of rail dampers using laboratory methods and software predictions. M G R Toward*,  G Squicciarini, D J  Thompson‡ and Y Gao  In, 11th International Workshop on Railway Noise, Udevalla, Sweden, 09 - 13 Sep 2013.
  • Reducing railway induced ground-borne vibration by using trenches and buried soft barriers. J Jiang, M G R Toward*, A Dijckmans, D J Thompson‡, G Degrande, G Lombaert, J Ryue.  Proceedings of the 11th International Workshop on Railway Noise IWRN11; 9-13 September 2013 at Uddevalla in Sweden
  • Statistical description of wheel roughness.  G Squicciarini, M G R Toward*, C J C Jones, and D J Thompson‡  In 11th International Workshop on Railway Noise, Udevalla, Sweden, 09 Sep 2013.
  • Laboratory methods for testing the performance of acoustic rail dampers. D J Thompson‡ and M G R Toward*. In, Acoustics 2012, Nantes, France, 23 - 27 April 2012. (NB Links to an external web site. PDF 570 KB)
  • Assessment of the efficiency of rail dampers using laboratory methods within the STARDAMP project. H Venghaus, D J Thompson‡, M G R Toward*, D Bumke, P Kitson, B Asmussen, and M Starnberg.  In, 38th German Annual Conference on Acoustics (DAGA), Darmstadt, Germany, 19 - 22 Mar 2012.

* ISVR Consulting   ‡ISVR Dynamics Group  (Other authors have different affiliations.)

Reprints of papers that are not available on line may be requested by emailing rail@isvr.co.uk