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This paper presents a simple procedure for predicting noise in the vicinity of rail lines including intercity freight and passenger services and metropolitan systems. The procedure accounts for the effects of speed; wheel and rail condition; travel on bridges and elevated transit structures; geometrical spreading of sound energy; excess attenuation due to propagation over the ground and through the air; and barrier attenuation by sound screens, cuttings, embankments, and houses. Aweighted sound pressure level is the basic quantity predicted; equations are given to determine various noise exposure measures such as the 24-hour energy equivalent sound level (Leq (24h)), the day-night average sound level (Ldn) and the community noise equivalent level (CNEL).
rail noise, community noise, noise propagation, noise attenuation, transportation noise
Manager, Urban Rail Noise Abatement Program, U.S. Department of Transportation, Transportation Systems Center, Environmental Technology Branch, Cambridge, Mass.