An important environmental impact of railway systems is represented by the noise and vibrationproduced by trains passing by. This forms a complex problem due to the following considerations:

  • there are diverse noise types (depending on rolling stock, track, operating conditions, specific environment)
  • noise is the result of a mixture of different sources, each of them with specific characteristics
As a consequence, it is difficult to describe issues related to noise and vibration in an intuitive and understandable way, and to communicate without the need for specific background in physics and mathematics.

The SILVARSTAR project intends to apply state-of-the-art technologies (auralisation and visualisation) to tackle noise and vibration problems and to bring to advances in their understanding and mitigation.
The first overall objective of SILVARSTAR is to provide the railway community with a commonly accepted, practical and validated methodology and a user-friendly prediction tool for ground vibration impact studies. This tool will be used for environmental impact assessment of new or upgraded railways on a system level. It will provide access to ground vibration predictions to a wider range of suitably qualified engineers and will facilitate project planning and implementation by improved simulation processes.
The second overall objective of SILVARSTAR is to develop a fully functional system for auralisation and visualisation based on physically correct synthesised (exterior and interior) railway noise, providing interfaces with Virtual Reality visualisation software. This system will facilitate communication with the public, decision makers and designers through virtual experience before delivery of projects.
The resulting tools will bring important benefits in reducing the environmental impact of railways from the point of view of noise and vibration.