Train noise

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Train noise is vehicle noise created by trains. Noises may be heard inside the train and outside. Various parts of a train produce noise, and different kinds of train wheels produce different amounts of noise. Noise barriers can attenuate the noise.


  • Train noise can be a type of environmental noise. When a train is moving, there are several distinct sounds such as the locomotive engine noise and the wheels turning on the railroad track. The air displacement of a train or subway car in a tunnel can create different whooshing sounds.
  • Trains also employ horns, whistles, bells, and other noisemaking devices for both communication and warning.
  • Trains propelled by electric traction motors often produce a noise in which the relative pitch corresponds to the speed & the volume to the power being used. The noise made depends on the type of motor (e.g. that of AC motors is usually higher than that of DC motors). Variable frequency drives can produce a high- & fixed-pitched whining noise, while DC pulse width modulation has a buzzing noise corresponding to the frequency.
  • Flange Squeal is a definition used to describe the sound of the ridges of the metal train wheels turning on the train track.

Noise Pollution[edit]

In cities and in suburbs where there are Subways, Light Rail transit and freight trains, loud train noise can occur into neighborhoods. There are even organizations against train noise such as the World Health Organization and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where they have set guidelines for noise level decibel limits for Rapid Transit.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Correlation between rolling noise generation and rail roughness of tangent tracks and curves in time and frequency domains J Sadeghi, A Hasheminezhad Applied Acoustics 107, 10-18 [1]