New solutions for noise control are explored as part of the design process for the new railway link between Helsinki and Turku. The planned route of the new line passes by various properties, which would be impacted by the noise produced by passing trains to varying degrees.
Potential new noise control methods include the improvement of soundproofing in the properties, replacement of windows, further insulation of walls, and the installation of acoustic fresh air vents that absorb sound. Glazing used on decks and balconies in the yard areas can be replaced and more lightweight noise barriers can be constructed near areas where people tend to spend time.
Traffic noise is traditionally reduced by using noise walls, barriers, and banks along roads and railway lines.
– The new solutions could be used to improve living comfort in the vicinity of railway lines and partially prevent property devaluation or expropriation of properties due to noise. Our aim is to implement effective measures in to reduce the impact of noise, says Annika Salokangas, Project Director at Turku One Hour Train Ltd.
New Solutions Provide Savings During the Construction Stage
Property-specific measures are also more cost-effective, as they are significantly more affordable than the construction of noise walls or banks. It is estimated that new solutions could provide savings of tens of millions of euros during the construction stage.
In general, noise control methods are more effective when the distance to the object of protection is minimized. Thus, the construction of a noise barrier would be best suited to a situation where the number of residents to be protected against noise is significant and a single barrier would provide protection for several sites. The construction of noise walls in particular to protect individual sites in sparsely populated areas can increase costs substantially without necessarily providing the sought-out benefits.
New solutions are intended to diversify and boost the efficiency of noise control. Ideas for planning have been sourced from Sweden where, for example, the replacement of apartment windows is a commonly used method for controlling traffic noise.
The Swedish Transport Administration Trafikverket carries out property assessments as part of its construction planning. Property-specific measures have long been used in Sweden, and they continue to be developed further.
Noise Control is an Essential Part of the Design Process
During the planning of the one-hour rail link between Turku and Helsinki, all properties are protected in accordance with the statutory guidelines (Government Decision 992/1993). Sites subjected to noise are identified and suitable solutions developed.
So far, more than 100 properties that could benefit from novel noise control solutions have been identified along the new railway line between Espoo and Salo. The project’s designers have been in contact with landowners, and the discussions are expected to continue until the end of the year.
– Our goal now is to assess whether property-specific noise control solutions would work in Finland and how they could be realized. We want to the be the first railway project in Finland where new methods are piloted and possibly even implemented, Salokangas says.
Annika Salokangas, Project Director, tel. +358 40 866 5315, annika.salokangas(a)tunninjuna.fi