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High Speed Rail: Cost of Compliance for Noise Mitigation Procedures

Document Series
Technical Reports
Federal Railroad Administration
Report Number
Subject Rolling Stock
High speed rail, noise, noise mitigation, noise regulation comparisons, cost of noise regulation compliance, noise reduction methods, cost, study, rolling stock, Northeast Corridor

This report includes the results of follow-on research related to high speed rail noise. The earlier study, entitled High Speed Rail Noise Standards and Regulations, surveyed noise standards and regulations currently in place within the US, EU, Japan, and China as well as methods employed to mitigate noise impacts. It was found that the identified noise standards and regulations are based on different measurement procedures and metrics, which makes direct comparisons difficult. In addition, detailed costs associated with implementing the mitigation methods were not included. The current study involved two key tasks: 1) develop an analytical tool to allow the global standards and regulations to be compared on a common basis, and 2) assess the cost of compliance for the three categories of noise emission reduction procedures: rolling stock modifications, interruption of noise path to receiver, and building modifications at the receiver. The costs were assessed as $/dB(A) reduction and $/dB(A) reduction per impacted resident. This allowed the various procedures to be cost ranked individually and in combination to achieve an overall noise emission reduction target. The cost analysis was applied to two representative rail lines: the Northeast Corridor (NEC) and California High Speed Rail (CHSR) system. 

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Last updated: Tuesday, January 11, 2022