For information on the effect on noise pollution experienced by Barbican residents of the introduction of the latest tube trains

Request ID: FOI-0648-1819
Date published: 16 July 2018

You asked

What standards and requirements to minimise noise pollution for residents living above and near the London Underground tracks running beneath the Barbican Estate were specified in the planning and design, commissioning, procurement and operation of the new trains (S stock) operating on the Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines; and what are the results of monitoring of the performance of the new trains in relation to their effect on noise and vibration?

We answered

TfL Ref: 0648-181

Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 11 June 2018 asking for information about noise pollution at the Barbican and the introduction of the latest tube trains.

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Environmental Information Regulations and our information access policy. I can confirm that we hold the information you require.  You asked:

What standards and requirements to minimise noise pollution for residents living above and near the London Underground tracks running beneath the Barbican Estate were specified in the planning and design, commissioning, procurement and operation of the new trains (S stock) operating on the Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines; and what are the results of monitoring of the performance of the new trains in relation to their effect on noise and vibration?

The applicable LUL standard is S1180, Standard for Rolling Stock. The relevant parts from the current issue (A9) are below, and are unchanged or not significantly changed from those in force for S stock design.

3.2.9 Noise inside and outside trains and whistle noise

3.2.9.1 Unless otherwise specified, all measurements shall be made in accordance with BS EN ISO 3095 and BS EN ISO 3381.

3.2.9.2 The noise limits specified shall be reduced by 3 dB(A) if significant pure tones in the range 200 Hz to 4000 Hz are present. The significance of pure tone noise in this context shall be assessed using the ‘one-third octave’ method in British Standard BS 4142:2014 Annex C.

3.2.9.3 The requirements for noise levels inside the train when it is stationary are:

a) the noise level in the saloon and cab (where separate) shall not exceed 65 dB(A) measured using the Fast time constant with all auxiliary equipment operating at its greatest noise output capacity. The noise level in the saloon interior at any point along the car centre-line shall be measured at both 1200mm and 1600mm above the floor and not less than 600mm from the end of the saloon

b) the noise levels in the cab (where separate) shall be measured 1000mm above the floor and not less than 200mm from any wall

c) the simultaneous operation of all saloon doors on one side of the car (with the audible warning bleepers disabled) without operation of any other auxiliary equipment, shall not produce a noise level exceeding 75 dB(A) measured using the Fast and Impulsive time constant. The noise level shall be measured at any point along the car centre-line at both 1200mm and 1600mm above the floor.

3.2.9.4 The requirements for noise levels inside the train when it is moving on a surface section are:

a) The average inter-station noise levels (Leq) in the train running at the scheduled speed profile of the upgraded railway shall not exceed 72 dB(A). The noise level shall be measured at any point along the centre-line of the saloon at both 1200mm and 1600mm above the floor and not less than 600mm from the end walls, with all auxiliary systems operating normally and simultaneously;

b) The average inter-station noise levels (Leq) in the cab (where separate) shall not exceed 70dB(A), measured at any point 1000mm above the floor and 200mm from any wall.

3.2.9.5 The requirements for noise levels inside the train when it is moving in underground sections are:

a) The average inter station noise levels (Leq) in the train interior, when running at the scheduled speed profile of the upgraded railway in any underground tunnel with all auxiliary systems operating normally, shall not exceed 80dB(A).The noise levels shall be measured at any point along the centre-line of the saloon at both 1200mm and 1600mm above the floor and not less than 600mm from the end walls

b) The average inter-station noise levels (Leq) in any driving cab (where separate) shall not exceed 72dB(A) measured at any point 1000mm above the floor and 200mm from any wall.

3.2.9.6 The requirements for noise levels outside the train when it is stationary on a surface section are that the noise level with all auxiliary systems operating shall not exceed 65dB(A) at any point along the length of the train on either side. The noise level shall be measured at a position 7.5m horizontally from the centre-line of the track and at any point between 1200mm and 1500mm above the top of the running rail. A second microphone position at a height of 3500mm above the top of the running rail shall be used if significant sound sources are present in the upper part of the car under test.

3.2.9.7 The requirements for noise levels outside the train when it is moving on a surface section are that the noise level shall not exceed 80dB(A) at any speed up to and including 80km/h with all auxiliary systems operating normally and simultaneously. The noise limit shall apply at any point 7.5 m horizontally from the track centre-line and at any point between 1200mm and 1500mm above the top of the running rail. A second microphone position at a height of 3500mm above the top of the running rail shall be used if significant sound sources are present in the upper part of the car under test.

3.2.9.8 A whistle shall be fitted to all driving positions of rolling stock, which meets the test requirements stated in Table 2 below: Train type

Position of Measurements

Distance

Sound pressure level dB(A) at maximum output

Height of test equipment microphone

Passenger train-front of train – “loud” position on whistle control

Along the extension of the centre-line of train at the specified distances from the whistle and front of train

1m

125 minimum.

130 maximum.

Level with whistle

1m

120 maximum

At any height up to and including 1.6m above rail

Type tests undertaken by the supplier, Bombardier Transportation Ltd, show compliance to all requirements.

We monitor noise in properties when residents complain of train noise.   Measurements are taken where we consider they are necessary.  Where there is a number of complaints in a particular area, e.g. Barbican to Moorgate, measurements need only be taken in a few properties to quantify levels and the likely source of the noise.  This, in turn, can lead to developing mitigation measures. 

Residents need to register their concerns with the Contact Centre Operations (Customer Services).  They can do this by the following ways:

By calling the general helpline number (0343 222 1234), an agent will take all their details, by logging a complaint on our website at www.tfl.gov.uk/help-and-contact/contact-us-about-tube-and-rail or by contacting us at [email protected].

No regular in-train monitoring of noise is undertaken.  The lines over which S stock operates is covered by ATMS (Automated Track Monitoring System). ATMS is an unattended track measurement system mounted on in-service passenger trains that measures, processes and transmits track geometry data to those responsible for the day-to-day operation.  It does not include noise within the trains.  Where noise has been raised as a concern for Train Operators, cab measurements have been undertaken to assess daily exposure, however, this is not regular monitoring.

If this is not the information you are looking for, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal as well as information on copyright and what to do if you would like to re-use any of the information we have disclosed.

Yours sincerely

Sara Thomas

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

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