Deutsche Bahn to reduce freight train noise with ‘whisper brakes’

Deutsche Bahn to reduce freight train noise with 'whisper brakes'
Photo: DPA
German national rail provider Deutsche Bahn has announced that it will outfit its freight train fleet with quieter brakes in an effort to cut noise and the costs of protective walls in residential areas.

“The noise is the Achilles heel of freight train traffic,” Deutsche Bahn CEO Rüdiger Grube said on Sunday. “We must fight it at the source.”

In the coming months the company plans to put “whisper brakes” on 1,250 of its 100,000 freight cars, he said.

With each car costing between €2,000 ad €7,000, the German government has set aside some €7.5 million of the project, while the company will pay for the rest.

From now on, the company has vowed that all new freight cars will be outfitted with the special brakes. The first 6,000 have already been ordered, Grube said.

According to the CEO, the new fibre composite brakes will cut train noise pollution in half by reducing the friction between wheels and tracks.

The first new cars will be tested along the Koblenz-Bingen line.

Grube also encouraged similar measures by rail providers around the European union.


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