Noise from High Speed Maglev Transportation Systems

by Carl E. Hanson, Harris Miller Miller & Hanson, Inc, Lexington, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: High Speed Ground Transportation Systems I: Planning and Engineering


Noise levels from magnetically levitated trains (maglev) at very high speed may be high enough to cause severe environmental noise impact in residential areas, even without physical contact with a guideway. In addition to very high noise levels the startle effect as a result of sudden onset of sound may lead to increased annoyance to neighbors of a maglev system. A project performed by the author's firm as part of the Federal Railroad Administration's (FRA's) National Maglev Initiative lays the groundwork for determining the consequences and potential mitigation for noise from a high speed maglev system in populated areas of the United States. Four areas are included in the study: (1) definition of the sources that affect wayside noise levels; (2) development of environmental noise criteria; (3) development of design guidelines to control exterior noise; and (4) recommendations for an acoustical testing facility. This paper provides an overview of the first two areas.

Subject Headings: Noise pollution | Magnetic levitation trains | Rapid transit systems | Rail transportation | Federal government | Vehicle impacts | Terminology and definition | United States

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