FOI request detail

Noise levels decibels Northern line

Request ID: FOI-1207-1920
Date published: 22 August 2019

You asked

I would like to see records of the noise levels in decibels inside Northern line tube carriages, specifically on journeys between Euston and Tufnell Park stations (in both directions). I would like to know whether the noise levels change during the day and whether the current noise levels fall within safe guidelines.

We answered

Our ref: FOI-1207-1920/GH

Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 24 July 2019 asking for information about noise levels on the Northern line.

Your request has been considered under the requirements of the Environmental Information Regulations and our information access policy. I can confirm that we do hold the information you require.

Engineering options to reduce noise levels inside London Underground’s tunnels are limited. TfL undertakes assessments on specific track sections where noise levels are reported as a concern, and wherever possible completes appropriate noise-reducing works. There are sections of track on the Northern line with corrugation (high rail roughness), and therefore the wheel-rail interface rolling contact may cause higher levels of noise. We maintain a rail grinding programme to address areas of highly corrugated track, but this can only achieve temporary improvements. One particular effect of corrugation on the rail is that the energy created causes noise that can be heard in residential properties. To address this we have used a track dampening system which has significantly lowered the noise levels recorded in local homes but created uncomfortable noise being experienced by our passengers as a result. We do, however, continue to investigate ways that we can mitigate the noise experienced by passengers and staff.

Please see the attached document which provides the noise levels requested.

Please note that in accordance with TfL’s obligations under Data Protection legislation some personal data has been removed, as required by section 40(2) of the FOI Act. This is because disclosure of this personal data would be a breach of the legislation, specifically the first principle which requires all processing of personal data to be fair and lawful. It would not be fair to disclose this personal information when the individuals have no expectation it would be disclosed and TfL has not satisfied one of the conditions which would make the processing ‘fair’.

If this is not the information you are looking for, or if you are unable to access it for some reason, please do not hesitate to contact me.

If you are not satisfied with this response please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal.

Yours sincerely

Graham Hurt

FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London


Back to top

Want to make a request?

We'll email you the response within 20 working days.

We'll publish the response online without disclosing any personal information.