FRENCH Railways has begun to examine the production, maintenance and safety implications of a range of wheelset and rail combinations to reduce noise generated by high-speed trains. SNCF’s Research Division has directed the project, divided into the RONA (wheelsets), VONA (track) and MONA (grinding) subgroups. Development work has made use of the European Rail Research Institute’s Track Wheel Interaction Noise Software.

Tests conducted by the Traction & Rolling Stock Division between Lille and Calais revealed that noise from the rail/wheel interface could be cut by between 1 and 8dB(A), depending on the solution adopted. The tests were conducted with conventional track, rail on sleeper pads and conventional rail on dynamic absorbers.

Conventional TGV wheelsets were tested along with four prototypes developed in conjunction with Valdunes. These were a steel monobloc wheel with a thickened web; a wheel with an aluminium centre and a steel tyre; an aluminium centre and steel tyre with dynamic absorbers; and a steel monobloc wheel with acoustic baffles.

SNCF, Direction de la Recherche


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