8444Re: [carfree_cities] Transport Policy? An Explanation for
- May 4, 2005The noise from passenger trains comes from a fairly small number of
sources, all fairly easily mitigated:
Wheels. Typically, squeaks, groans, creaks. These noises are created due
to curves and uneven areas on the track. On well-maintained and aligned
track, wheel sounds are quite minimal.
Of course, there are systems which run pretty quietly through the use of
a nonmetallic vehicle to track interface. Examples include the Miami
Metromover (still pretty loud, due to ancillary equipment) and the
Track. On older track, non-welded joints cause a click noise with each
wheel crossing. Newer welded rail, if properly installed and ground
smooth, creates none. In addition, loose spikes, ties, support plates,
and other hardware will cause noise as the changes in pressure on the
track vibrate it. In general, a well-maintained new track is quiet, and
one that's out of shape is loud.
Power. Diesel locomotives, gensets, electric motors and gearing. Adding
vibration isolators and sound insulation can dramatically reduce the
noise output from any locomotive. Air compressors seem to be especially
loud on some equipment, and should be packed away in compartments with
sound absorbing insulation.
Fans, HVAC equipment. Low noise fans and compressors can be installed or
retrofitted to locomotives and rolling stock. Systems can be designed to
be liquid cooled instead of air cooled, with cooling handled by passive
radiators or heat exchangers with quiet fans.
Squeaks and rattles from other parts. These are more a passenger
compartment noise issue than anything else, as they are not loud enough
to be objectionable. However, if a train's been quieted down overall,
they may be more noticeable and annoying. The most common sources I've
found are vestibules between cars, which I suppose could be fitted with
rubber edges to avoid metal on metal squeaking. Could the interface be
made magnetic, like a refrigerator door seal?
I was truly amazed when I was riding Tri-Rail one day and a breaker
popped (or something). I was in the first car of a northbound train
(with the locomotive on the south end) on newly replaced track, and all
the HVAC gear lost power. It was nearly silent. It would be very nice if
the air conditioning in the cars could run that quietly...
Mike Morin wrote:
>>If motorists were ever--
>>forced to pay the *TRUE* cost of driving, say, from Cleveland to
>>Chicago, guess what? The comparative cost of a passenger train
>>ticket would look pretty darn good, wouldn't it?
>As much as I detest automobiles, the noise that trains make are equally as
>noxious. Trains would be OK if people didn't live by the tracks. But they
>do. Simiilar things could be said about highways and busy streets.
>With today's information technology and such, why would people need to
>travel from Cleveland to Chicago. Telecommuting may be a better idea than
>passenger trains. Besides, railroads have such an unsavory history.
>By the way, enlighten me about the "true cost" of driving. Other than the
>unsustainable nature of autocentricity and the impacts of global warming, I
>don't know what you mean. Perhaps that is what you mean. Am I missing
>something? Certainly gas taxes do pay for road maintenence and construction.
>My two dollars worth...
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