The SilentTrack noise damping system, developed by Tata Steel, has been installed to date on over 120km of railway track worldwide. It will be installed in the United Kingdom at Blackfriars station as part of work to ensure that the enhanced Thameslink Route still complies with noise legislation despite the increase in rail traffic.
David Benton, product manager for Tata Steel explains, "The Thameslink project will result in an increase in both the frequency and the length of trains. This would normally lead to an unacceptable increase in noise. With SilentTrack installed at Blackfriars station, track noise will be reduced significantly, so the enhanced railway will be no more noisy than the existing railway."
An added benefit is the speed of installation as the SilentTrack noise damping system will be installed over just two weekend possessions in February next year. The SilentTrack system has been developed to maximise reduction of track noise caused by rolling contact — track noise being the most significant contributor to overall railway noise. For each installation, the system is specifically adapted by Tata Steel engineers to maximise effectiveness for a client's track and operating environment. Recent international installations including Oslo, Sydney and the Rhine Valley, have demonstrated the high levels of noise reduction obtained with this approach, and the flexibility of the SilentTrack system.
The performance of SilentTrack is optimised for each installation. David Benton again, "Every form of track design (defined by rail type, pad stiffness, clip and sleeper design) responds differently as trains pass over it, and so the noise produced has a different frequency spectrum. Tata Steel is able to analyse the track characteristics, and ensure the damper is configured to absorb vibration at the frequencies that are producing the greatest sound power."