Less noise pollution is music to everyone’s ears
Imagine lying awake at night because every 25 minutes a train's disk brake spears you through the ears with its banshee like screeching.
But it’s not like you can pick up and move your house further away, or even move the tracks.
Which makes for a pretty awful living situation.
Especially when you consider the harmful effects of noise pollution which impacts millions of people every single day.
A common health problem caused by noise pollution is “Noise Induced Hearing Loss” which when coupled with the other side effects such as high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep disturbances, and stress make for very harmful and miserable neighbourly relationships.
And sadly, these issues affect all ages, including and especially children.
Children who live near noisy areas suffer from increased stress, memory impairments, drops in their attention level and even their reading skill.
Fortunately for residents in Germany however, Deutsche Bahn has said that by 2030, half of all residents living close to railway tracks will start to hear the difference in noise pollution thanks to a variety of efforts being implemented.
By 2025, the only locomotives they’ll be using are electric ones with quieter brake systems, which means the old Soviet-era diesel locomotives will be taken fully out of service, unsurprisingly, these are also the most emission-heavy, so to reach this goal, Deutsche Bahn is taking the following steps: spearheaded by DB Cargo, the only locomotives used by 2025 will be electric ones with quiet braking systems 90% already meet this! Deutsche Bahn will also take old Soviet diesel locomotives out of service. These locomotives are the most emission-heavy.
Deutsche Bahn will also now only purchase freight cars that already meet their noise protection requirements, which will lower the decibels produced by transit even further.
To push this initiative further, Deutsche Bahn are investing a further several million euros which will go towards putting noise-protection measures alongside the railway tracks. At the beginning of this year more than 2,000km had these measures installed with an additional 75km of new noise barriers erected last year for an investment of 146 million euros. And around 1,500 homes also received noise-protection measures.
As a result of the initiatives so far noise pollution from the railway has been cut in half last year, primarily by equipping all freight trains with quieter ‘whisper’ brakes, which means no more banshee wailing to keep local residents awake.
Which will do a lot to help everyone sleep at night.
And reduce those horrendous side effects too.
With the expansion of rail in Britain, wouldn’t it be great to see industry leaders incorporating this technology into projects like HS2?
Raildiary are based in Manchester, with a myriad of rail, road, plane links. We’re not saying our app could be a part of this but we hope that Germany’s example may trigger something similar in the UK.
Forward thinking by Deutsche Bahn that we could listen to here?