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8444Re: [carfree_cities] Transport Policy? An Explanation for

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  • Tom Morris
    May 4, 2005
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      The 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
      Toronto subway.

      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...

      High Prince Sporkington of the Holy Order of Multiball Madness, Suburban
      Warrior of Disarray, Master of the Lost Circuit Collective, Member of
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      Also known to the unenlightened as Tom Morris, KG4CYX

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