SilentTrack® by British Steel
British Steel has developed the innovative SilentTrack® noise reduction rail system, which significantly reduces noise generated by railway traffic.
Rail noise reduction system
SilentTrack® by British Steel is of great benefit to people living near railway lines, as independent measurements have proven that noise can be significantly reduced without the need for erecting large, visually unattractive barriers.
The patented SilentTrack® system tackles noise at the source and can be fitted to established infrastructures with minimal change to railway practice.
SilentTrack® reduces noise generated by rails as train wheel pass over them. The 'silent rail' system employs patented 'tuned dampers', developed in conjunction with Southampton University's Institute of Sound and Vibration Research, which are attached to either side of the rail. These dampers efficiently absorb vibrations and hence prevent noise from being generated by the rail. The tuned damper can be fitted to a variety of standard rail sections, which makes it a significantly more attractive option than noise containment measures such as barriers that are visually intrusive and very expensive.
Independent measurements have shown that the SilentTrack® system will give overall reductions in train pass-by noise of between 3dB(A) and 7dB(A), depending on the characteristics of the track, and the railway traffic using the track.
SilentTrack® has been extensively installed onto tracks both in Europe and worldwide, with over 175km of track now benefiting from the system. It is now recognized by many railway networks as an important method of complying with noise legislation and environmental planning regulations.
The SilentTrack® tuned rail dampers can be either installed 'on track' onto rail that is already in service, or in factory conditions onto rail that is to be used in renewal or new-build programmes.
We have worked in partnership with selected installation contractors to develop techniques for installation onto existing track that minimise possession times and ensure the integrity of the installed product. The clipping system developed for SilentTrack® ensures a speedy installation process (the system can be fitted onto up to 400m of track per hour) and a high integrity of fixation.
The SilentTrack® system has significant technical benefits over other solutions employed to reduce railway noise including:
The ability to be 'tuned' to absorb vibrations specific to a particular track form
A multi-frequency response over the important acoustic range for rail noise
Noise reductions of 3-7dB(A), depending on track form and rolling stock
No maintenance requirement and no effect on other elements of the rail infrastructure
The same life as the rail itself
No interference with other track maintenance activities e.g. tamping
Visually unobtrusive, and eliminates or reduces the need for acoustic barriers