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

ISVR's 36 m test track

The ISVR 36 metre test track fitted with rail dampers

Intercity-Express (ICE) passing the ISVR acoustic camera in Germany

InterCity-Express (ICE) passing the ISVR acoustic camera in tests near Munich

A test train passing the ISVR acoustic camera

A test train passing the ISVR acoustic camera

Track decay rate testing

Track decay rate measurements

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

  • 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:

  • 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:



Facilities for studying railway noise and vibration

Wheel roughness measurement equipment

ISVR acoustic camera microphone array

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


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 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.


* ISVR Consulting   ‡ISVR Dynamics Group

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