DB Cargo increases noise protection for residents
German’s national operator Deutsche Bahn and freight subsidiary DB Cargo will this year begin testing noise protection technologies for both mobile and stationary devices. It’s the latest step in a concerted drive to reduce noise pollution for those living and working near rail lines.
By the end of 2017 around 40,000 of DB Cargo’s freight cars were operating ‘quietly’ through Germany, following work to retrofit them with noise-reducing technology. Last year alone around 7,000 cars were converted at the company’s workshops. It means around two-thirds of the entire fleet are now operating at levels deemed acceptable by the state.
Andreas Gehlhaar, Head of Environment and Noise Protection Officer at DB Cargo, said: “Noise protection is part of our DNA. Because a quiet freight transport by rail is a prerequisite for a shift from the road to the green rail. This saves harmful CO2 and is a contribution to climate protection. ”
Between 2014 and the end of 2020, DB Cargo will spend more than 200 million Euros on retrofitting freight wagons. In 2017, voluntary noise protection was also promoted on the existing routes, and more than 100 million Euros was invested in building protective walls and noise-insulating windows.
The government-backed noise reduction programme has delivered measures over the past few months to protect local residents along some 100 kilometres of lines. This brings to 1,700 kilometres the total length of routes in Germany equipped with noise protection. This year, track-level barriers and other noise-reducing components on two sections of the Berlin-Frankfurt and Munich-Regensburg routes will be examined for their acoustic effectiveness.
Roland Bosch, CEO of DB Cargo, said: “We are making huge strides in meeting our noise reduction targets in rail freight transport. For 2018 we have made another nearly 11,000 cars for conversion.”