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Noise emission of European railway cars and their noise reduction potential: data collection, evaluation and examples of Best-Practice railway cars

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Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
STRIA Roadmaps
Transport mode
Rail icon
Transport policies
Environmental/Emissions aspects
Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport


Background & Policy context

To harmonize the European rail transport system and to reduce the noise emissions of rail transport, technical specifications for interoperability (TSI) were implemented: For the first time, there are general European-wide limits for noise emissions regarding new or modernized trains. Nevertheless, the burden of noise emissions in rail transportation is still a big problem for inhabitants.


The project’s objective is to describe the technical standard of the railway sector regarding noise emissions. At first, data concerning noise emissions should be explored. In a second step, the potential of methods for noise reduction can be assessed. To proof that the findings are applicable, Best-Practice examples are necessary.


The most relevant mechanisms causing noise emission of railway cars are summarized. As a lot of different noise reduction techniques exist they have been studied within research projects. The effects of these measures are summarized and evaluated.

Noise emission data of railway cars that were homologated under the scope of the TSI-Noise is collected within a survey conducted at notified bodies, manufacturers, railway operators and measuring institutes. A statistical evaluation of the data is done.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety; BMUB
Type of funding
Public (national/regional/local)
Funding Source
Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB)


Based on the collected data, the state of the art of noise emission of railway cars is determined. It shows that a significant noise reduction potential exists for all railcar categories. Proposals for limit values, based on the state of the art are developed. The study proposes double-stage limit values to come into force in short term / mid term.

Vehicles with an excellent acoustic behavior are introduced as Best-Practice vehicles.

Findings of the study are published in detail by a final report (German only) which is available online via the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety:


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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