The EU guidelines 2002/49/EC on the Assessment and Management of Environmental Noise requires all EU Member States to prepare and publish noise maps and noise action plans. Similar developments are taking place in non-EU countries.
The common goal is to ensure a high level of health and environmental protection and subsequently, to reduce the emission of noise and vibrations, incl. also railway systems. With vehicle-side improvement measures, the focus is increasingly on railway subsystems such as switches & crossings.
Due to the dynamic interaction of vehicle and track, energy is introduced into the oscillating railway system. The resulting vibrations spread as airborne sound (noise) and structure-borne noise (vibrations). The reduction of emissions along the propagation path, e.g. noise barriers, is generally less efficient than measures directly at the noise or vibration source.
Although some efforts have been made in the past to improve the rail system, it is still often unclear which relevant sources are relevant in combination with the propagation paths. In addition, noise reduction measures may be negative for vibration emissions and conversely.
In order to clarify which sources are relevant of noise and vibration and to develop suitable improvement measures, the project “Lärmarme Weiche” was launched as part of the Comet K2 Digital Mobility Program.
In a consortium, VIRTUAL VEHICLE works closely with infrastructure managers and manufacturers together. The project structure basically enables the inclusion of further partners in the project consortium.
The research project follows the approach of the holistic consideration of noise and vibration and is divided into three phases:
The three phases ensure a targeted optimization of the switch with regard to the reduction of noise and vibrations, the virtual testing of the developed measures and the verification of their effectiveness.
The methodology to be developed for virtual measure evaluation has the advantage that it can subsequently be used for future developments and can be integrated into the specification and design process of switches, in addition to the necessary measurements.
VIRTUAL VEHICLE Research Center is funded within the COMET – Competence Centers for Excellent Technologies – programme by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT), the Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs (BMDW), the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG), the province of Styria and the Styrian Business Promotion Agency (SFG). The COMET programme is administrated by FFG.