Experimental Study of Noise Barriers for High-Speed Trains
Noise reduction in the environment of the railway system can be achieved by acting on the source and the transfer path. The opening of the transport market leads to different operators running on the same track with inhomogeneous rolling stock. In this context, a noise barrier is still a relevant mitigation measure.
An experimental study has been carried out to evaluate the relevancy of using noise barriers to reduce the noise exposure caused by high-speed trains running at 380 km/h. First, a bibliography study summarizes the main results of previous studies and available products on the market. Some improvements seem to be possible to increase the noise reduction of classical noise barriers. Consequently, a modular noise barrier has been defined following the most promising results of the bibliography to test several configurations of a “Y” shape. A prototype has been built along a TGV line in France. Six configurations of the “Y”-shaped noise barrier have been tested, with or without absorbent materials, for a TGV running below 380 km/h.
Absorbent material and multiple diffracting edges confirm their potential to increase the efficiency of the noise barrier. For the current commercial speed (320km/h), the noise reduction provided by the noise barrier compared to the free-field conditions, for a receiver located 25m from the track and 3.5m high, increases from 4 to 5 dB(A) by using absorbent materials. The multiple diffracting edges provide a noise barrier efficiency equal to or even better than a “classical” noise barrier for the current commercial running speed.
At higher running speeds, the energy of aerodynamic noise sources located on the roof of the train increases and the barrier height is not sufficient.
KeywordsNoise Reduction Noise Exposure Sound Absorption Coefficient Octave Band Aerodynamic Noise
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