Preprint Article Version 1 NOT YET PEER-REVIEWED

Life Cycle Cost Evaluation of Noise Control Methods at Urban Railway Turnouts

Department of Civil Engineering, University of São Paulo, 13215720 São Paulo, Brazil
Department of Civil Engineering, School of Engineering, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
Version 1 : Received: 29 August 2016 / Approved: 29 August 2016 / Online: 29 August 2016 (12:39:40 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Tavares de Freitas, R.; Kaewunruen, S. Life Cycle Cost Evaluation of Noise and Vibration Control Methods at Urban Railway Turnouts. Environments 2016, 3, 34. Tavares de Freitas, R.; Kaewunruen, S. Life Cycle Cost Evaluation of Noise and Vibration Control Methods at Urban Railway Turnouts. Environments 2016, 3, 34.

Journal reference: Environments 2016, 3, 34
DOI: 10.3390/environments3040034


The railway industry focus in the past years was to research, find and develop methods to mitigate noise and vibration resulted from wheel/rail contact along track infrastructure. This resulted in a wide range of abatement measures that are available for the professionals of the industry today. However, although there are many options in the market, their practical implementations depend upon general constraints that affect most technological application in the engineering world. The progression of these technologies have facilitated the selection of more adequate methods for each best case scenario, but further studies are ought to be made to proper assess if each one is fit for their purpose. Every method implementation must be analyzed through budget and timeframe limitations, which includes building, maintenance and inspection costs and time allocation, while also aiming to meet different benefits, such as environmental impact control and wear of the whole infrastructure. There are several situations and facilities in a railway project design that need noise and vibration mitigation methods and each design allocates different priorities for each one of them. Traditionally the disturbance caused by railways to the community are generated by wheel/rail contact sound radiation that expresses in different ways, depending on the movement of the rolling stock and track alignment, such as rolling noise, impact noise and curve noise. More specifically, in special trackworks such as turnouts, the main area of this study, there are two noises types that must be evaluated: impact noise and screeching noise. With respect to the second, it is similar to curve squeals and, being such, its mitigation methods are to be assigned as if it was to abate curve squeal in turnouts and crossings. The impact noise on the other hand, emerges from the sound made by the rolling stock moving through joints and discontinuities (i.e. gaps) that composes these special components of a railway track. A life cycle analysis is therefore substantial for this reality and in this case will be applied to Squeal and Impact Noise on Special Trackwork. The evaluation is based on a valid literature review and the total costs were assumed by industry reports to maintain coherency. The period for a life cycle analysis is usually of 50 years, hence it was the value assumed. As for the general parameters, an area with high density of people was considered to estimate the values for a community with very strict limits for noise and vibration.

Subject Areas

railway noise; railway vibration; squeal noise vibration; screeching noise vibration; impact noise vibration; abatement; mitigation; life cycle analysis

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