Noise Remediation – Swiss railways

SBB Cargo will implement the ban on non-noise-reduced freight wagons in a moderate manner from January 1, 2020.

Addendum to the report of 12/02/2019

SBB wrote in the Cargo News of November 29, 2019: «From the beginning of 2020, SBB Cargo will no longer accept noisy wagons and will send a consistent reminder to the dispatch RU if wagons with grey cast iron brake pads are handed over at the border. SBB Cargo will refrain from withdrawing these wagons in the first half of the year. However, we reserve the right to adjust this practice if we are confronted several times with wagons belonging to the same keeper or a civil lawsuit. We also intend to make the customers or partner railways affected by buses liable.

In mid-2020 we will reflect on the first half of the year together with the Federal Office of Transport (FOT) and reassess the situation. We will then inform you about any new measures that may be necessary.»

We will be happy to advise you and support you in the implementation.

Your TTS team

Report of 12/02/2019

The Swiss Confederation is providing around CHF 1.5 billion for noise abatement measures on Swiss railways until 2025. With a ban on noisy freight wagons from 2020, measures on the carriageway as well as research and investment subsidies, the population is to be protected even more effectively against railway noise by 2025. The aim is to protect 80% of the population from harmful or annoying railway noise.

With the noise abatement measures for railways taken so far, Switzerland is a pioneer in Europe:

  • Low-noise cars with disc brakes are now standard in passenger transport.
  • In domestic freight cars, the grey cast iron brake pads, which cause a lot of noise, have been replaced with quieter K-blocks.
  • Noise barriers were erected along heavily trafficked routes and, where necessary, noise protection windows were installed in buildings.
  • he noise-differentiated route pricing system creates incentives for railway companies to receive a bonus if they use low-noise rolling stock. The train path price is the fee that the railway companies have to pay for the use of the railway infrastructure in Switzerland.

Almost two-thirds of people living in areas where the railway noise limit was exceeded, were protected with this package of measures (reference year 2002).

The Swiss Parliament wants further measures

With the revision of the Federal Railway Noise Abatement Act (BGLE) of 27 September 2013, Parliament adopted additional measures to reduce railway noise:

  • Noise limits with which noisy freight cars with grey cast iron brake blocks will be effectively banned in Switzerland from 2020; foreign freight wagons are particularly affected.
  • Measures on the carriage-way where a particularly large number of people are exposed to railway noise.
  • Closing gaps between existing noise barriers if this significantly improves their effectiveness.
  • The renovation of steel bridges.
  • Financial support for the development, testing and approval of particularly quiet rolling stock and infrastructure components.
  • Investment aid for particularly low-noise freight wagons.

If these measures are consistently implemented, 80% of people living in places where limits are exceeded can be protected (reference year 2002).


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