Some 50,000 people in Finland live within the noise impact area of rail services, and some 880,000 people are exposed to noise from road and street traffic.
VR works towards reducing noise and vibration nuisances in rail services in cooperation with the Finnish Rail Administration, which is responsible for the rail network.
VR is responsible for the maintenance of rolling stock, while the Finnish Rail Administration and municipalities are responsible for structural noise abatement.
Machining wheels to reduce noise
At the speeds driven in Finland, the noise from rail services is rolling noise generated by contact between the wheel and the rail. The key factor in the noise level is the condition of wheels and rails. Altogether 2,659 wheel-and-axle sets were machined by VR during the year to rectify wheel flats or material failures.
VR tested new low-noise starting motors to reduce noise emissions at depot areas. Brake shoes made of composite material are being developed for freight wagons to replace those made of cast iron.
The Finnish Rail Administration set a total of 14 traffic restrictions to reduce vibration nuisances. Most of these apply only to the heaviest freight trains.