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The University of Southampton
Engineering

Railway Noise and Vibration

Railway noise and vibration is an important environmental issue affecting many people who live close to railway lines. Our research aims to investigate the fundamental mechanisms behind the generation of noise and vibration and to use this understanding to develop practical solutions.

We have a particularly strong activity in the control of wheel/rail rolling noise. The TWINS program developed by our staff remains the state-of-the-art method of predicting rolling noise and is routinely used in the industry to assess new wheel and track designs. Recent work has included the development of a simplified model in the STARDAMP project that can be used to assess the benefits of different wheel and rail damping solutions. Meanwhile the Acoutrain project aims to use models such as this to replace measurements at least partially by simulation in the approval process for new trains.

Ground vibration and ground-borne noise are related phenomena that affect lineside residents. Unlike airborne sound the ground varies from one location to another and may have complex wave-bearing properties. Dedicated prediction models using both analytical and numerical approaches have been developed and are continually being improved in order to develop and assess practical solutions.

Aerodynamic noise is an important source for speeds above 300 km/h. Research in this area includes the use of numerical techniques (Computational Fluid Dynamics and Computational Aeroacoustics) and the development of simplified semi-empirical prediction methods.

We are also active in many other areas of railway noise control, where theoretical models are used to understand and then control noise. These include curve squeal, impact noise, bridge noise and roughness growth. 

Collaboration with industry: we have worked in many EU funded projects including Silent Freight, Silent Track, STAIRRS, SILENCE, ACOUTRAIN and RIVAS. We also work directly with industry both in the UK and overseas.

List of related projects to
Related ProjectsStatusType
Track 21 - Railway Track for the 21st CenturyActiveOther
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