Impact of noise from urban railway operations
This thesis concerns the noise nuisance that results from the operation of urban railways and reports on a case-study of the impact of the Tyneside Metro on residents living in close proximity to the railway tracks. The study was based upon parallel related surveys in the vicinity of Wallsend and Walkergate, during the period August to November 1983: one, a subjective questionnaire survey of perceived noise-nuisance and the other, an objective set of measurements of the actual noise conditions prevailing there. A review of the methods of current practice in the control or urban railway noise demonstrates that regular maintenance of the rails and train wheels is still the most effective way of keeping noise under control at source. Nevertheless, with high speeds of operation, considerable noise nuisance is likely to be experienced by residents nearby. The Metro is the biggest source of noise and noise-nuisance for people exposed to noise levels of over 60 18H Leq dB(A), although the noise annoyance model constructed from the data showed that half of the annoyance felt by respondents could not be explained. Other factors which affect annoyance include vibration, perception of other transport noises, the subjects' ages and whether or not they own the property they occupy. Metro is generally perceived to be quieter and to cause less vibration than the diesel trains (DMUs) which preceded it. The equivalent continuous noise level (Leq) appears to be the most practical of all the various noise indexes for measuring railway noise annoyance. Finally, informal conversation with respondents in the course of a social survey can provide valuable insight into the mental and psychological processes of perception.