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The Greening Transport Package
has been adopted on 8 July 2008


Measures to support freight transport
18 October 2007




|Air pollution


The principal source of rail noise is the rail-wheel interaction. This problem concerns of course both the transport of passengers and freight, but it is much acute for freight wagons.

To reduce rail noise at its source the Commission adopted in 2002 a decision concerning the technical specification for interoperability relating to the "Rolling stock" including noise limit values for high speed trains.

For the conventional rail, the Commission adopted on 23 December 2005 a decision concerning the technical specification for interoperability relating to the noise of rolling stock, published in OJ L 37 of 8 February 2006. This Decision introduced for the first time noise limits for rolling stock used in the European Union. These limits apply to new and renewed rolling stock including freight wagons. New freight wagons have to be equipped with low-noise brake blocks (such as so-called K-blocks) reducing the noise by about 50%.

However, due to the long lifetime of rolling stock (and the logarithmic nature of noise), it will take several years before the overall noise emissions from freight trains can be reduced significantly if no additional measures addressing the existing fleet are introduced.

In this context the European Commission recently adopted a Communication on rail noise abatement measures addressing the existing fleet as part of the 'Greening Transport' package

A public consultation on this subject has been carried out - deadline 31/07/2007.

For the result of the public consultation, see the summary of the contributions received.

Workshop on low-noise brake block technology and homologation

As follow-up activity of the Communication the Commission convened a workshop on 29 September 2008. Its objective was to discuss and clarify the state of play of the development and homologation of LL-blocks as well as the authorisation procedures for composite blocks (K and LL) and for putting into service of retrofitted wagons.

Documents related to the workshop on 29 September 2008 in Brussels

Title Author Format
Presentation of the Communication on rail noise abatement measures addressing the existing fleet Mr H. Kunst (DG TREN) (445 KB)
Position of CER, EIM, ERFA, UIP and UIRR and UIC to the Noise Communication Mr L. Lochman (CER) (117 KB)
Legal framework on noise emission for wagons Mr J.-C. Pichant (ERA) (276 KB)
UIC Noise Mitigation Programme Mr M. Mather (UIC, DB) (152 KB)
UIC/CER/UIP programme and homologation procedure Mr J. Gräber (UIC, DB) (857 KB)
Rolling Stock Noise Reduction - IB116* Ms B. Iturralde (Icer) (8.3 MB)
Project DECIBELL Mr L. Lelièvre (Faiveley Transport) (1182 KB)
Railways Experiences and Perspectives – AAE  Mr D. Gilliam (AAE) (954 KB)
Umrüstung von DB Schenker – Güterwagen auf Verbundstoff – Bremsklotzsohlen  (V-BKS) Mr J. Gräber (DB) (306 KB)
Fluistertrein - Dutch in service tests of composite brake blocks on freight wagons Mr J. W. Lammers (ProRail) (616 KB)
Silent Rhine/ Leiser Rhein Mr A. Huland (BMVBS, DE) (309 KB)
Composite brake blocks process of approval - Member State's point of view: case of France Mr F. Godet (Ministère de l'Écologie, de l'Énergie, du Développement durable et de l'Aménagement du territoire, FR) (883 KB)
Overview of the homologation procedure in Germany Mr A. Schirmer (EBA, DE) (137 KB)
Summary of the workshop   (23 KB)



last update: 15-12-2008