Reducing the noise caused by rail traffic and improving track acoustics have been a focus of Vossloh’s research and development work for years. An essential factor in effective noise reduction is combating it at the source, by optimizing the wheel-rail contact on the track, which Vossloh has prioritized. The Company offers suitable products and services in all divisions that can reduce rail noise on a sustainable basis. Examples are the cellentic components and rail fastening systems with a high plastic content that dampen structure-borne noise, called whisper switches, and rail machining technologies (grinding, milling) for restoring a smooth and, therefore, “quiet” surface. The rail and switch processing machinery can achieve noise reduction of up to 10 dB(A) by precisely removing material. The machines themselves also operate quietly. For example, the milling machine VTM compact, generates noise measuring less than 78 dB(A) during operation, so that residents are not disturbed even during a night shift. For comparison, on a quiet residential street, the noise level is roughly 40 dB(A); a car going 50 km/h reaches a volume of 70 dB(A).
In 2021, Vossloh Rail Services developed a new milling tool with which grooved rails can now also be fully deployed without prior construction works when the milling machine is in service. The use of this milling wheel facilitated a sustained noise reduction on particularly congested sections of Düsseldorf’s Rheinbahn route. The business unit’s logistics unit completed the equipping of its own freight cars with whisper brakes in 2021. This is intended to reduce noise levels by up to 10 dB(A) when transporting switches and rails to construction sites.