ProRail manages approx. 110 train yards in the Netherlands, including the Leeuwarden yard. Train services to and from this city in the north of the Netherlands will be expanded in the near future, and the lay-out of the yard will be modified to handle the resulting increase in train traffic. The train yard is located in the city centre and must conform to strict noise requirements laid down in the environmental permit. These requirements are intended to protect local residents. The modifications to the train yard require an update of the environmental permit, which in turn requires a noise study. This study was performed by Witteveen+Bos.

Dynamic Noise Model

ProRail manages the noise situation in train yards using the so-called Dynamic Noise Model. Witteveen+Bos first updated this model based on the expected changes. The second step consisted of testing the changes against the current environmental permit. This test showed that on a number of test locations the expected noise load of the modified yard would exceed the maximum levels defined in the permit. Witteveen+Bos subsequently investigated possible measures to reduce the noise load affecting the houses concerned. In a train yard, measures can be taken ‘at source’, for instance by making sure that railroad switches are properly lubricated or by using Continuous Welded Rail (CWR). In addition, noise screens can be put up or the facades of nearby homes can be improved. Witteveen+Bos supported ProRail in assessing these options by advising on the expected impact and the costs associated with each option.

In the event of future changes to the train timetable, ProRail can also use the Dynamic Noise Model produced by Witteveen+Bos to quickly and easily assess the consequences of the change with respect to noise levels

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