Thursday, April 26, 2012

News: Tata Steel's SilentTrack installed in the UK


Innovative railway track from Tata Steel which reduces the noise of trains passing over has been installed for the first time in the UK, at Blackfriars station in London.

The special railway track, called SilentTrack, was developed by British scientists and engineers at Tata Steel and will reduce rail traffic noise in and around the station by up to 50%.

SilentTrack is already in operation in 13 countries around the world. It has now been installed at London Blackfriars as part of the Thameslink Programme to help reduce the noise from one of the capital's busiest stations.

Researchers at Tata Steel's Swinden Technology Centre in Rotherham teamed up with acoustic experts at the world-renowned lnstitute of Sound and Vibration Research at the University of Southampton to develop the track.

SilentTrack uses patented dampers attached to the sides of the track to absorb vibration in the rail as the train moves over it. The dampers are made in the UK from Scunthorpe-made steel encased in a rubber-like material, and are acoustically tuned to the track. The dampers cancel out noise from the track as the train passes over it which reduces the overall noise impact of the train.

Mike Poulter, rail marketing manager at Tata Steel, said: "SilentTrack is an innovative and unique product designed to meet the need for quieter rail traffic in projects around the world.

"Our research engineers in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, helped to develop the product after we identified growing public demand for noise reduction, particularly in urban areas. SilentTrack also provides a simple, cost-effective solution to address requirements of the new European noise legislation."

David Benton, an engineer at Tata Steel who helped develop SilentTrack, added: "The Thameslink Programme will improve rail transport for passengers in London by enabling more frequent and longer trains. With increased traffic through Blackfriars it was important to consider measures to keep noise to a minimum for local residents and businesses around Blackfriars.

"SilentTrack will reduce peak noise levels as trains pass over by about a half. This means that the enhanced railway, when it opens later this year, will have no greater noise impact than the existing railway."

Tata Steel website

Images: Tata Steel


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