Freight train in Switzerland. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

No more ‘noisy trains’ in Switzerland from next month

Switzerland will enforce the ban on the use of railway wagons with cast iron brake blocks from 1 July. These trains are much noisier than those with composite brakes. Violators of the new rule should expect fines of up to 50,000 euros.

The Alpine country has required the use of the much quieter brake pads since the beginning of this year, but has so far tolerated wagons with iron brake pads. The rules will now be strictly applied.

DB Cargo

In anticipation, DB Cargo has announced that it does not accept third-party wagons for transport to Switzerland that do not have composite brake blocks. The rail carrier charges 1500 euros if it discovers a unit with cast iron brake blocks during a transshipment. This amount is charged to cover the costs of the return. Any fines are also passed on to the party responsible.

Spokesperson Jelle Rebbers says that in recent years DB Cargo has invested approximately 200 million euros in replacing the brake pads and has enough “quiet” wagons to comply with the Swiss “Laute Güterwagen” ban. The group expects that all 63,000 own wagons will have the “Flüsterbremsen” by the end of this year.

They produce about ten decibels less sound than iron ones, which for the human ear amounts to half the noise. DB Cargo started the retrofit operation in 2013 and expects to build the last five thousand wagons this year.

Author: Rob Mackor

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