Track is the main source of railway rolling noise and has a key role in vibration transmission into the ground. However, design changes are usually driven by other concerns with the implications for noise and vibration considered as secondary effects. Our third research challenge is to develop and demonstrate an integrated approach to designing a low-noise, low-vibration track consistent with reduced whole life costs and maintenance needs.

We will develop and demonstrate low-noise, low-vibration track by

a) computer modelling of the effects of proposed track modifications and interventions on rolling noise and ground-borne noise and vibration

b) combining these models with others (e.g. DEM, FEM and vehicle dynamics)

c) laboratory experiments to assess acoustic properties and the performance of track elements and scaled sub-systems

d) acoustic measurements at cross-Programme field study sites

e) incorporating the data and analyses into integrated cross-Programme models for improved track performance prediction and maintenance planning

We shall then prepare a full scale trial or demonstration.